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ysa. 



1 



I 






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THB 

a 

HISTORY OF ENGLISH POETRY, 

FAOM THX 

CLOSE OF THE ELEVENTH 

TOTHt 

COMMENCEMENT OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURA 

TO wmCH AEI FAinXBOy 

THREE DISSERTATIONS: 

1. OF THE ORIOIK OF ROMANTIC FICTION IN EUROPE. 

2. ON THE INTRODUCTION OF LEARNING INTO ENGLAND. 

3. ON THE OE8TA ROMANORUM. 




BY 

THOMAS WARTON, B.D. 

rsEAow or wiimr coua^ oxtokd, amo or ths •ooobty <w awti^darum, aioi iatb 
PBonmoE or ponrnT m tbs imrncBnTT Gt oxroED. 



A NEW EDITION 

CAREFULLY REVISED, 

WITH NUMEROUS ADDITIONAL NOTES BY THE LATE MB. RITSON, 

THE LATE DR. ASHBY, MB. DOUCE, 
MR.. PABK, AND OTHER EMINENT ANTIQUARIES, 

AMD 

BY THE EDITOR. ^ ^ 



IN FOUR VOLUMSa 
VOL. II. 



LONDON: 

PRINTED FOR THOMAS TEGG, 73, CHEAPSIDE. 

1824. 



' ft 



\ 



.'f 



LONDON: 

VJIINTSD BT JUCHAftO TATLOfty 8I10«-LA«E. 



• AMHII IFL^MMAM 




CONTENTS. 

VOL. II. 



Sbctiok V. Page. 

Specimens of oUier popular metrical romances which ap- 
peared about the end of the thirteenth century. Sir Guy. The 
Squier of Low Degree. Sir Degore. King Robert of Sicily. 
The King of Tars. Ippomedon. La Mort Arthure. Subjects 
of antient tapestry 1 

Section VI. 

Adam Davie flourished in the beginning of the fourteenth century. 

* Specimens of his poetry* His Life of Alexander. Robert 
Baaton's comedies. Anecdotes of the eiurly periods of the 
English^ French and Italian drama 47 

Secxiow VII. 

Character of the reign of Edward the Third. Hampole*s Pricke 
of Conscience S6 

Section VIII. 

Pierce Plowman's Visions. Antient state and original institution 
of Fairs. Donat explained. Antichrist 101 

Section IX. 

Pierce the Plowman's Crede.^ Constitution and character of the 
four orders of mendicant friars. Wickliflfe 123 

Section X. 

Various specimens of alliterative poetry. Antient alliterative 
hymn to the Virgin Mary 14$ 

Section XI. 

John Baibour's History of Robert Bruce^ and Blind Harry's Sir 
\^^iam Wallace. Historical romances of recent events com- 
mence about the close of the fourteenth century. Chiefly 
composed by heralds. Character and business of antient 
heralds. Narratives written by them. Froissart's History 
His life and character. Retrospective views of manners .... i54 



CONTENTS. 

Section XII. Page. 

General View of the character of Chaucer. Boccacio's Teseide. 
A Greek poem on that subject. Tournaments tit Constanti- 
nople. Common practice of the Greek exiles to translate the 
popular Italian poems. Specimens both of the Greek and 
ItaJian Theseid. Critical examination of the Knight's Tale. . 176 

Sbction XIII. 

The subject of Chaucer continued. His Romauht of the Rose. 
William of Lorris and John of Meun. Specimens of the French 
Le Roman de la Rose. Improved by Chaucer. WIfiiam of 
Lorris excells in allegorical personages. Petrarch dislikes this 
poem 204 

Skction XIV. 
Chaucer continued. His Troilus and Cresseide. Boccaeio's 
Trdilo. Sentimental and pathetic strokes in Chaucer*s poem. 
House of Fame. A Provencial composition. AnsJysed. 

Improperly imitated by Pope ,. 220 

» ..... 

Section XV. 

Chaucer continued. The supposed occasion of his Canterbury . 
Tales superior to that of Boccacio*s Decameron. Squire*s Tale, 
Chaucer*s capital poem. Origin of its fictions. Story of Patient 
Grisilde. Its origin^ popularity^ and characteristic excellence. 
How conducted by Chaucer %..•.. 282 



Section XVI. 

Chaucer continued. Tale of the Nun*s Priest. Its origin and 
allifiliohs. January and May. Its imitations. Licentiousness 
of Boccacio. Miller's Tale. Its singular humour and ridi- 
culous characters. Other Tsdes of the comic species. Their 
origin, allusions, and respective merits. Rime Qf Sir Thopas. 
Its design and tendency « .... , 253 

Section XVII. 
Chaucer continued. General view of the Prologues to the Can- 
terbury Tales. ThePrioresse. The Wife of Bath. TheFran- 
kelein. The Doctor of Physicke. St^te of mediad erudition 
and practice. Mediqne and astronomy blended. Chaucer's . 
physician's library. Learning of the Spanish Jews. The 
Sompnour. The Pardonere. The Monke. Qualifications of 



CONTENTS. 

Page. 

^B abbot. TheFrere. The Porsouiie. The Squire. English 
crusades into Lithuania. The Reeve. The Clarke of Oxcn- 
fonL The Serjeaunt of Lawe. The Hoste. Suj^mental 
Tale, or Hirtory of Beryn. Analysed and examined 270 

Section XVIII. 
Chaucer continued. State of French and Italian poetry : and 
their influence on Chaucer. Rise of allegorical composition in 
the dark ages. Love-courts^ and Love-fraternities^ in France. 
Tales of the troubadours. Dolopathos. Boccacio^ Dante^ and 
Petrarch. Decline of Provencial poetry. Succeeded in France 
by a new species. Froissart. The Floure and the Leafe. 
Floral games in France. Allegorical beings 292 

Section XIX. 

John Gower. His character and poems. His tomb. His Con- 
fessio Amantis. Its subject and plan. An unsuccessful imi- 
tatioii of the Roman de la Rose. Aristotle's Secretum Secre- 
torum. Chronicles of the middle ages. Colonna. Romance 
of Lancelot. The Gesta Romanorum. Shakespeare's caskets. 
Authors quoted by Gower. Chronology of some of Gower's 
and Chaucer's poems. The Confessio Amantis preceded the 
Canterbury Tales. Estimate of Gower's genius 305 

Section XX. 

Boethius. Why^ and how much^ esteemed in the middle ages. 
Translated by Johannes Capellanus, the only poet of the reign 
of king Henry the Fourtii. Number of Harpers at the coro- 
nation least of Henry the Fifth. A minstrel-piece on the 
Battayle of Agynkourte. Occleve. Hm poems. Egidius de 
Regimine Principuni, and Jacobus of Casali De Ludo Soaceo- 
rum. Chaucer's picture. Humphrey duke of Gfaiucester. 
Sketch of his character as a patron of literature. Apology for 
the gallicisms of Chaucer, Gower, and Occleve 342 

Section XXI. 
Reign of Henry the Sixth. Lydgate. His life and character. 
His Dance of Death. Macaber a German poet. Lydgate's 
poem in honour of Saint Edmund. Presented to Henry the 
Sixth, at Bury-abbey, in a most splendid manuscript, now re- 
maining. His Lyf oif our Lady. Elegance and harmony of his 
stile and versification 3€1 



t 

i ■ 
1 1. 

i 



CONTENTS. 

Section XXII. Pa^e. 

Lydgate continued. His Fall of Princes^ from Laurence Pre - 
mierfait*8 French paraphrase of Boccace on the same subject. 
Nature^ plan^ and specimens of that poem. Its sublime alle- 
gorical figure of Fortune. Authors cited in the same. Boc- 
cace's opportunities of collecting many stories of Greek original^ 
now not extant in any Greek writer. Lydgate*s Stone of 
Thebes. An additional Canterbury Tale. Its plan> and ori- 
ginals. Martianus Capella. Happily imitated by Lydgate. 
Feudal manners applied to Greece. Specimen of Lydgate's 
force in description • 37 1 

SfiCTION XXIII. 

Lydgate's Troy-JSoke. A paraphrase of Colonna*s Historia 
Trojana. Homer^ when^ and how^ first known in Europe. 
Lydgate's powers in rural painting. Dares and Dictys. Feudal 
manners, and Arabian imagery, ingrafted on the Trojan story. 
Anecdotes of antient Gothic architecture displayed in the 
structure of Troy. An ideal theatre at Troy so described, as 
to prove that no regular stage now existed. Game of jjaeSis 
invented at the siege of Troy. Lydgate*s gallantry. His 
anachronisms. Hector's shrine and chantry. Specimens of 
another Troy-Boke, anonymous, and written in the reign of 
Henry the Sixth 390 

Section XXIV. 

Reign of Henry the Sixth continued. Hugh Campeden translates 
the French romance of Sidrac. Thomas Chestre's Sir Launfale. 
Metrical romance of the Erie of Tholouse. Analysis of its 
Fable.. Minstrels paid better than the clergy. Reign of Edward 
the Fourth. Translation of the classics and other books into 
French. How it operated on English literature. Caxtoil. 
Anecdotes of English typography 408 

Section XXV. 

Harding's Chronicle. First mention of the king's Poet Laureate 
occurs in the reign of Edward the Fourth. History of that ofiice. 
Scogan. Didactic poems on chemistry by Norton and Ripley. 437 

Section XXVI. 

Poems under the name of Thomas Rowlie. Supposed to be spu- 
rious 451 

Appendix (by the Editor) 481 



THE HISTORY 



OF 



ENGLISH POETRY 



SECTION V. 

The r..^ of a. Ouv, .Hoh » en»«r««. b, (Wr 
among the ^^ Romances of pris," affords the following fiction, 
not uncommon indeed in pieces of this sort, concerning the re- 
demption of a knight from a long captivity, whose prison was 
inaccessible, unknown, and enchanted^. His name is Amis 
x>f the Mountain. 

* The Eomance of Sir Guyisacoosi- liage of the fond coiiple. To this it 
derable volume in quarto. My edition should seem was afterwards tacked on a 
is without date, '< Imprinted at Liondon series of fresh adventures, invented or 
in Lothburye by Wyllyam CopUmd.*' compiled by some pilgrim from the Holy 
with rude wooden cuts. It runs to Land ; and the hero of this legend was 
Siga. 8. iL It seems to be older than then brought home for the defence of 
the iS^atyr of hwe degree f in which it is Athelstan, and the destruction of Col- 
quoted. Sign.a.iii. brand." Mr. Ritson in opposition to 

Or els so b<dde in chivahie P"?!";^^ J^"* '^f'^^ ^^ ^'u*" T' 

AswMsyrGawayneorsyrGo. deniably histonaa personage, hi« la- 

■^ -^ ' bouredto prove that "no hero of this 

The two best manuscripts of this ro- name is to be found in real history,** 

mance are at Cambridge, MSS. BIbl. and that he w^ " no more an Enghsh 

PubL Mer. 690. SS. and MSS. ColL hero than Amadis de Gaul or Percefo- 

Caii, A. 8. rest.** Mr. Ellis, on the other hand, 

[An analysis of ^s romance will be conceives the tale " may possibly be 

found in the " Specimens *' of Mr. Ellis, founded on some Saxon tradition,*' and 

who is of opinion that "the tale in its that though the name in its present form 

present state has been composed ft-om be undouotedly French, yet as it bears 

the materials of at least two or three if some resemblance to Egil, the name of 

not more romances. The first is a most an Icelandic warrior, who " contributed 

tiresome love story, which. It may be pre- very materially to the important victory 

sumed, originally ended with tiie mar- gained by Athelstan over the Danes mi 

VOL. II. B 



2 THE HISTORY OF 

^* Here besyde an Elfish knyhte** 
Has taken my lorde in fyghte, 
And hath him ledde with him away 
In the Payry^, Syr, permafey." 
** Was Amis," quoth Heraude, "your husbond? 
A doughtyer knygte was none in londe." 
Then tolde Heraude to Raynbome, 
» How he loved his father Guyon : 

Then sayd Raynbume, " For thy sake, 
To morrow I shall the way take. 
And nevermore come agayne, 
Tyll I bring Amys of the Mountayne.'* 
Raynbome rose on the morrow erly, 
And armed hym fidl richdy.^ 
Raynborne rode tyll it was noone, 
Tyll he came to a rocke of stone ; 
Ther he founde a strong gate, 
He blissed hym, and rode in thereat. 
He rode half a myle the waie, 
He saw no light that came of daie. 
Then cam he to a watir brode. 
Never man ovir suche a one rode. 
Within he sawe a place greene 
Suche one had he never erst scene. 

their allies at Brunanburgh ;** he thinks Guyon, and Guido, are the representa- 

''it is not impossible tluit this warlike tives of the Teutonic W, and clearly 

foreigner may have been transformed by point to some cognomen beginning with 

some Norman monk into the pious and the Saxon Wig, ddifum.-— Edit.] 

amorous Guy of WarwidL.** This at ^ In Chaucer's Tale of the Chavum 

best is but conjecture, nor can it be con- Yeman, chemistry is termed an Elfish 

ndered a very happy one. Egil himself art, that is, taught or conducted by Spi- 

(or his namdess biographer) makes no rits. Tliis is an Arabian idea. Chan, 

mention of a single combat on the oc- Yem. T. p. 1^. v. 772. Urry's edit. 

taaon in which he had b^n engaged ; '^rhan we be ther as we shall exercise 

and the fact, had it occurred, would have Qyy jLvigHX craft. - - - - • 

been far too interesting, and too much in a „.. .. . j „ q^q 
..-.• -^t- ^v • •* r-au ^ i u Agam, ibid. v. 863. 

unisonwiththespmtofthe times, to have ^ . ,. , . , , . 

been passed over in sUence. In addition . Thoiu^h he sit at his boke both daie 

to thw, the substitution of Guy for Egil , aj»d ™8^». ^. . . , 

is against all analogy, on the transform*- Ii^ lemmg of this blvish mcd lore, 

tlon of a Northern into a French ap- ^ " Into the land of Fairy, into the 

pellation. Tlie initial letters in Guy, region of Spirits." 



ENGLISH POETRY. ^ 

Within that place there was a paUaioe^ 

Closed with walles of heathenesse^ : 

The walles thereof were of cristall, 

And the sommers of corall*. 

Raynbome had grete dout to passe, 

The watir so depe and brode was : 

And at the laste his steede leepe 

Into the brode watir deepe. 

Thyrty fiidom he sanke adowne, 

Then cleped* he to God Raynbome. 

God hym help, his steede was goode, 

And bure hym ovir that hydious floode. 

To the pallaice he yode^ anone, 

And lyghted downe of his steede full soone. 

Through many a chamber yede Raynbome, 

A knyghte he fomid in dongeon. 

Raynbome grete hym as a knyght comtoise, 

" Who oweth/* he said, "this fayre pallaice?" 

That knyght answered him, " Yt is noght, 

He oweth it that me hither broght" 

" Thou art," quod Raynbume, " in feeble plight. 

Tell me thy name," he sayd, "syr knight" 

*■ ** WaUs built hj the Pagans or Sa^ The walles thereof were of cristally 
ncens. Walls built by magic. " Chau- And the sommers .of coralL 
cer. in a Terse taken from Stfr JBevus, ^ ^^ » . . • 

[^ a. ii.] says that his kJd^t W' B«t Chaucer n^ntions (»r^ 
tardlled pie of Diana. Knightk8Tali«v. 191S. 

As weU in Christendom as in Hethkiss. And northward, in a touret on the 

Vtoh p. 2. V. 49. Andin ^ JSr^mour Of ahibastre white, and red corall, 
cfjttioy8,Siga.^.u, Anoratorierichefortosec. 

¥ ?•« ^/%.«« *J.* <v^ »!!!» J^ir Carpentier dies a passage firom the ro- 

1 am come out ot hzthshxs. -n m ' T^i. 1.1.^ 

mance De Troyes, m which a chamber of 

St^ Beoyt of Hamptowfu Sign. b. m« alabaster is mentioned. Sufpl. Laii> 

TTiey found shippes more and lessc Gloss. Du Cange^ tom. L p. 136. 
Of panimes and of heOienesK, £„ ^^^ chambre n'oit noienx, 

Also, Sign. C L De chaux, d*areine, de dmenx. 

The first dede withouten lesse Enduit, ni moillerons, ni emplaistre, 

Hiat Bevys dyd in heOeMise. Tot entiere fut aUmbas^ 

* [I do not perfectly understand the ^ 

matoials of this £EUiy palace. * called. 'went. 

b2 



4( THE HISTORY OP 

That knyghte sayd to hym agayne, 

** My name is Amys of the Mountayne^ 

The lord is an Elvish man 

That me into thys pryson wan." 

*' Arte thou Amys," than sayde Raynbome, 

" Of the Mountaynes the Ixdd barrone? . 

In grete perill I have gone, 

To seke thee in this rocke of stone. 

But blissed be God now have I thee 

Thou shalt go home with me." 

'* Let be," sayd Amys of the Momftayne, 

" Great wonder I have of thee certayne ; 

How that thou hythur wan : 

For syth this world fyrst began 

No man hyther come ne myghte, 

Without leave dTthe Elvish knyghte. 

Me with thee thou mayest not lede," &c.«^ 

Afterwards, the knight of the mountain directs Raynbume to 
find a wonderftd sword which hung in the hall of the palace. 
With this weapon Raynbume attacks and conquers the Elvish 
knight; who buys his life, on condition of conducting his con- 
queror over the perilous ford, or lake, above described, and of 
delivering all the captives confined in his secret and in^r^- 
nable dungeon. 

Guyon's expedition into the Souldan's camp, an idea ftumish- 
ed by the crusades, is drawn with great strength and simplicity. 

• 

Guy asked his armes ancme, 

Hosen of yron Guy did upon : 

In hys h^wberke Guy hym clad, . j j,, . 

He drad no stroke whyle he it had. 

Upon hys head hys helme he cast, 

And hasted hym to ryde fiill fiist 

A syrcle^ of gold thereon stoode. 

The emperarour had none so goode ; 

* Sign. Kk. iii« s^. •» circle. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 5 

Aboute the syrcle for the nones 
Were ^ett many precyous stones. 
Above he had a coate armour wyde; 
Hys sword he toke by hys syde : 
And lept up(»a Ids stede anone, 
Styrrope with fix>t touched he none. 
Guy rode forth without boste, 
Alone to the Soudan's hoste : 
Guy saw all that countrie 
Full of tentes and pavylyons bee : 
On the pavylyon of the Soudone 
Stoode a carbuncle-stone : 
Guy wist therebie it was the Soudones, 
And drew hym thyther for the nones. 
At the meete^ he founde the Soudone, 
And hys barrons everychone, 
And tenne kynges aboute hym, 
All they were stout and grymme : 
Guy rode forth, and spake no worde, 
Tyll he cam to the Soudan's borde*' ; 

> at dinner. the feast of Christmas at Greenwich* 

^ table. Chaucer, Squ. T. 105. in the year 1488, we hare, " Tlie due 

And up he rideth to the hie horde. cfBedeford«««niwrt<r«ei6fe on Uie right 

. , . , , ^ side of the hall, and next untoo hym was 

Chaucer sayithathis kmgbt had often the lorde Dawbeneye," &c. That is, 

^begon the bard aboro idl nations. He siOe at the head of the table. Lehind, 

ProL 52. The term c^ duvaby, to be- CoU. iiL 237. edit. 177a To begin 

gtn the board, is to be pkced m the up- the bourd is to begin the taumament^ 

permost seat of the halL Anstis, Ord- Lydgate, Chron. Ttoj, b. ii, ch. 14^ 
Gart. i App. p. xr. « The eail of IJ*^ * • .^ r^ 
Surry began the borde In pTfisence I the The ^te justes, ftordei, or /sMnuy^ 

earl of Arundel washed with him, and I wiU here take occasion to correct 

satt both at the first messf. . » • Began Heame^ explanation of the word Bourm 

the 6orcfe at the chamber's end.*' f. e. sat der in Brunne's Chron. p. SQi. 

at the head of that td^e wtddi was at a knygtaioimi>ou»kingRichaidhada 

r ArbMSfWehmte to beg^ the dete, which ^ ^, ... 

the same thing. Boumnoua, says Heame, is6oardfr, peiK 

• ^ :■ • 1. 11 -^ sioner. But ^e true meaning is, a IF<w, 

Loides m haUc wer settc an arch feUow, for he is here mtroduoed 

' And waytM blewe to the nuste.— putting a joke on the king of France, 

The two knyg^tes the dese began. BowaSs iajest, trick, from the French. 

Sign. D. iii. See Chaucer, Sou. T. 99. See R. de Brunne ap. Hearne's Gloss, 

and Kn. T. 9002. In a celebration of Rob. Glo. p. 695 ; ai|d above Sect^ Ilk ; 



$ THE aiSTO^Y OF 

He ne rought* with whom he mette. 
But on thys wyse the, Soudan he grette: 
" God's curse have thou and thyne^ 
And tho that l^ve°^ on Apoline.'* 
Than sayd the Soudan, " Whatiart thou 
That thus prowdlie speakest now? 
Yet found I never man certayne 
That suche wordes; durst me sayne.'* 
Guy sayd, " So God me save fix>m hell, 
My ryght nam I shall the tell; 
Guy of Warwicke my name is." 
Than sayd the Sowdan ywis, 
" Arte thou the bolde knyght Guyon, 
That art here in my pavylyon ? 
Thou sluest my cosyn Coldran 
Of all Sarasyns the boldest man," &c.** 

I will add Guy's combat with the Danish giant Colbrond, as 
it is touched with great spirit, and may serve to.illustrate some 
preceding hints concerning this part of our hero's history. 

Then came Colbronde forthe anone, 
On foote, for horse could bare hym none. 
For when he was in armure dight 
Fower horse ne bare hym might 
A man had ynough to done 
To bere hym hys wepon. 
Then Guy rode to Colbronde, 
On hys stede M wele rehnende° : 
Colbronde smote Guy in die fielde 
In the middest of Syr Guyes shdde ; 

ikiso Chauc. Gam. 1974. and Non, Urr. — ^-Aucuns estiment que ce mot vicnt 

2294. Knyghton mentidns a favourite des behourdt, qui tsUnt une espece des 

in the cburt of England tdio could pro- Tournois." See also Piss* Joinv. p. 174. 

cure any grant from the king hurdando. ^ cared, valued. Chaucer, Rom. R« 

Du Oanee Not. Jolnv. p. 166. Who 1873. 

«dd8,«peUvientlemotde^rdm^jr^ I nem^g** of dethneof life. 

qui estoient ces farceurs ou plaisantras ^^ 

qui dvrertissoient les princes par le redt " those who believe. 

des fiibks et des histoires des Romans. ° Sign. Q^ iii. " running. 



ENGLISH POETRY. ' 

Through Guyes hawberk that stroke went, 

And for no maner thjmg it withstent^^* 

In two yt share** Guyes stedes body 

And fell to ground hastily. 

Guy upstert as an eger lyoune. 

And drue hys gode sworde browne : 

To Colbronde he let it flye, 

But he might not reche so hye. 

On hys shoulder the stroke fell downe, 

Through all hys armure share Guyon'. 

Into the bodie a wounde untyde 

That the rcid blude gan oute glyde. 

Colbronde was wroth of that rap, 
He thought to give Guy a knap. 
He smote Guy on the helme bryght 
That out sprang the fyre lyght. 
Guy smote Colbronde agayne 
Through shielde and armure certayne. 
He made his swerde for to glyde 
Into his bodie a wound ryht wyde. 
So smart came Guyes' bronde 
That it braste in hys bond. 

The romance of the Squire of Low Degree, who loved the 
king's daughter of Hungaty », is alluded to by Chaucer in the 

^ *' nothing could stop it.** of lowe deffre, it is not probableljr, allso, 

"> divided. ofhisage.^' But the Xybeaus Bisoo- 

' « Guy cut through all the giant*s nus referred to in this romance^ is evi* 

armour.'* dently a different version of Uie story 

' It contains thirty-e^ht pages In irom that printed by Mr. Ritson, and the 

quarto. '< Imprinted at London by me quotation, if it prove any thing, would 

Wyllyam Copland. ** I have never seen rather speak for the existence of a more 

it in manuscript. ancient translation now unknown. Be. 

[This romance will be found in Mr. sides, Mr. Ritson himself has supplied 

Ruson's Collection, voL iiL p. 145, who us with an arsumenjt strongly favouring 

characterises it as a '< strange and whim* Warton*s conjecture. For if, as he ob- ^ 

sical Imt genuine Mnglisk performance.** serves, the Squyr of lowe degre be the" 

On Warton*s opinion, <<that it is allu- <mfy instance of a romance c(mtainin|^ 

dedtoby Chaucer in the lUmetfSir To* any such impertinent degressions or a£ 

pQS," he remarks: ''as Lybeaus Disco- fe<^ed enumerations of trees, birds, &c 

nus, one of the romanc&s enumerateed as are manifestly the object of Chaucer's 

by Chaucer, is alluded to in the Squyr satire, the natural inference would ~ 



8 THE HISTORY OF 

Rime of Sir Topas^. The princess is thus represented, in her 
closet adorned with painted glass, listening to the squire's 
complaint". 

That ladi herde hys moumyng alle, 

Ryght undir the chambre walle : 

In her oryall^ there she was, 

Closyd well with royall glas, 

Fulfyllyd yt was with ymagery, 

Every windowe by and by 

On eche syde had ther a gynne, 

JSperde* with jnanie a dyvers pynne, 

Anone that ladie feyre and fre 

Undyd a pynne of yvere, 

And wyd the wyndowes she open set, 

The simne shonne yn at hir qloset 

In that arbre fe-yre and gaye 

She. saw where that sqyure lay, &c , 

I am persuaded to transcribe the following passage, because 
it delineates in lively colours the fashionable diversions and 
usages of antient times. The king of Hungary endeavours to 
comfort his daughter with these promises, after she had &llen 

in the absence of any eTidenee for its dam capeUa pulchra et decent! fadenda 

more recent comppation^-^that this iden- ad caput Orioli' oim^v regis in castro 

tical romance was intended to be ex- Herefordie,delongitudinexx. pedum. **^ 

posed and ridiculed by the poet. At This Oriel was at the end of the king's 

aU events, Copland's editions with t|ieir chamber, from which the new chapel 

modem phraseology are no standifrd for was tp begin. A«dn, in the castle of 

determining the age of any composition ; Kenilworth. Rot Pip. an. 19. Hen. iii. 

and until some bett^ arguments can be [A.D. 1235.] " £t in uno magao 

adduced than those already noticed, the OrioUo pulchro et competenti| ante os- 

ingenious supposition of Dr. Percy—* tium magne camere regis in castro de 

for by him it was conmiunicated to War- Kenilworth faciendo, i^. xvis. ifd. per 

ton-*may be permitted tp remain in Brev. regis." 

full force.— Enrr.] fThe etymologists have been puisled 

^ See observations on the Fairy Queen^ to find the derivation of an orid-window. 

}• S iv. p. 139* A learned correspondent suggests, that 

** Si^. a. iiL Oriil is Hebrew for Lux mea, or Ikh-^ 

* An Oriel seems to have been a re- minus UluminaHd mM.— Additions.] 

cess in a chamber, or hall, formed by the 'closed, shut. In P. Plowman^ of 

projection of a spacious bow-window ablindman, «KturpaiTydhiseine.*M« e, 

from top to bottom. Rot. Pip. an. 18. opened his eyes, 
lien. iii. [A. D. 1234.] « Et in ^pia- 






ENGLISH POETRY. * 

into a deep and incurable melancholy from the supposed loss 
of her paramour. 

" To morow ye shall yn huntyng fare ; 

And yede, my doughter, yn a chare, 

Yt shal be coverd wyth velvette reede 

And clothes of fyne golde al about your heede, 

With damaske whyte and asure blewe 

Well dyaperd^ with lyllyes newe: 

y embroidered, diversified. Chaucer dciple. Sattin of Bruges, another city 

a bow, Rom. R. v. 934. of Flanders, often occurs in inventories 

And it was painted wel and thwitten «J monastic vestoients, in the reign of 

And ore aU diapred, and written, &c. ^enry the eighth : and the ciUes of 

on. -^ • ^'mj .1 j on- /• 1 Arras and Tours are celebrated for their 

Thwitten IS ttmted, wre^fted. The fol- ^^^^^ .^ ^^^^^ ^jl ^^ ^.^ 

lowing instance from Chaucer is more JJothers in their neighbourhood, ^ 

to ourpuipose. Kmght s Tale, v. 2160. ^^^^ ^^^^, f^ ^^ ^^ ^ w^Sian- 

Upon a stede bay, trappid in stele, ship before 1200. The Armator of 

Coverid with cloth of gold diajirid wele. Edward the third, who finishes all the 

This term, which is ptutly heraldic, oc- costly apparatus for the shows above 

curs in the Provisor's rolls of the Great- mentioned, conusting, among other 

wardrobe, containing deliveries for furr things, ofavariety of the most sumptuous 

nishing rich habiliments, at tilts and and ornamented embroideries en velvet, 

tournaments, and other ceremonies, sattin, tissue, &c is John of Cologn. 

''Et ad faciehdum tria hamesia pro Unless it be Colonia in Italy. RotuL 

R^e, quorum duo de velvetto albo ope- prsedict. memb. viii. memb. xiii. ** Quae 

nto cum garteriis de blu et diasj)rez per omnia ordinata fuerunt per garderoba- 

totam camipedinem cum wodehouses.*' rium competentem, de precepto ipsius 

Ex comp. J. Coke clerici, Provisor. Regis: et facta et parata per manus 

Magn. Garderob. ab ann. xxi. Edw. iii. Jphis de Colonia, Armatoris ip^us do- 

de 23 men^branis.adanii.xxiii. memb.x. mini nostii Regis.** Johannes de 

X bdieve it properly signifies embroi- Strawesburgh [Strasburgh] is mention- 

dering on a rich ^ound, as tissue, cloth ed as broudator regis, L e. of Richard 

of gold, &c This is confirmed by the second, in Anstis, Ord. Gart. i. 55. 

Feacham. '' Diaperimo is a term in See also ii. 42. I will add a passage 

drawing.— It chiefly serveth to coun- from Chaucer's W^e of Bath, v. 450. 

^drt'i^ef cff bietT&r" Si' ^ cloth-making she had such a haunt, 

Gent. p. 34S. Anderson, in hb Hisl ^« I^* *^*°' °^ f^ »"* "^ »»"«*• 

tory of Commerce, conjectures, that '' Cloth of Gaunt,** L e. Ghent, ismen- 

JHaper, a species of printed linen, took tioned in the Bomaunt <f the Bote, 

its name from the city of Ypres in v. 574. Bruges was the cnief mart for 

Flanders, where it was first made, being Italian commodities, about the thir- 

Qriffinajly called d^ipre* But that city teenth century. In the year 1318, five 

and others i^i Flanders were no less Venetian galeasses, laden with Indian 

famous for rich manufactures of stuff; goods, arrived at this city in order to 

and die word in question has better pre- dispose of their cargoes at the fair. L. 

tensions to such a derivation, ^us Guic. Descr. di Paesi Bass. p. 174. Silk 

rkh doik embroidered vdtk raised work manufactures were introduoed frt>m the 

we called (^ipre, and from thence diaper ; East into Italy, before IISO. Gianon. 

and to do this, or any work like it, was Hist. Napl. xi. 7. The crusades much 

called to diajierf from whence the par- improved th^ commerce of the Italian 



10 THEHISTORYOF 

Your pomelles shalbe ended with golde, 
Your chaynes enameled many a folde. 
Your mantell of ryche degre 
Purple palle and armyne fre. 
Jennets of Spayne that ben so wyght 
Trapped to the ground with velvet bryght. 
Ye shall have harpe, sautry, and songe, 
And other myrthes you amonge. 
Ye shal have rumney, and malespine, 
Both ypocrasse and vemage wyne ; 
Mountrese and wyne of Greke, 
Both algrade and despice eke ; 
Antioche and bastarde, 
Pyment^ also, and gamarde; 

states with the East in this article, and Hie knight and she to chamber went :•«« 
produced new artificers of their own. With jntneate, and with spisery, 
But to recur to the subject of this note. When they had dronken the wyne. 

Duster occurs among the rich sQks and gee Carpentier, Suppl. Gloss. Lat. Du 

stuffs in the French Roman de la Rote, Cange, tom. iii. p. 842. So Chaucer, 

where it seems to signify Damask. Leg. Dido, v. 185. 

* ' The spicis parted, and the wine agon» 

Samites, rfyapnfj, camelots. Unto his chamber he is lad anon. 

I find it likewise in the Roman d' Alex- proissart says, among the delights of hia 

andre, wntten about 1 200. MSS. BodL youth, that he was happy to taste, 

foL i. b. coL 2. < , . • « -■ . 

_ J. A ^ 1. • J -o • Au couchier, pour mieulz donmr, 

i)5«!pre. d Antioch, sums de Komanie. j^j^,^ ,j^ ^ „^,^ 

H.™ is.aUo. proof that the Asiatic j, j^. , g 5, ^ ^ j^^ 

atafi were at that tmie &mous : wd ^ ^ideus and Polimite in the pal«:f of 

probably Romame is Romania. The a ^— «*.«-* ti»«i««. o*«» Tk-iTTT^oA 

word often occurs in old accounts of A^"'**??«t^ Stoiv Theb. p. 634, 

rich ecclesiastical vestments. Du Cange ecu cnauc ib»7. 
derives this word from the Italian dias- g *n anon repaire 

jtro, a jasper, a precious stone which To her lodging in a ful stately toure ; 

sliifts its colours. V. Diasprus. In Assigned to hem by the herbeiour. 

Dugdale's Monasticon we have diaspe- And aftir spicis plenty and the wine 

raha, diapered. « Sandalia cum ca%i& In cuppisgrete wrought of gold ful fyne, 

de rubeo sameto maspbrato breudata Without tarrying to bedde straigbtea 
cum imaginibus regum." tom. iii. S1.4. they gone, &c. 

and 321. Chaucer has it i«ain. Sou. T. ▼. Sll. 

» Sometimes wntten /wwieofe. In the p. 52. Urr. and MilL T. v. 27a p. 2«. 

romance of 8yr Bevytt a kmght just _- , . , , . . , , 

gomg to repose takes Sie usual draiiht Hesenther;niiie?K,methe,andq)iadale. 

of pimeatCi which mixed with spices is Some orders of monks are et^joined to 

what the French romances call vin du abstain from drinking pigmenium, or 

coucheTf and for which an oflScer, called pimenL Yet it was » common refection 

EspiciER, was appointed in the old royal in the monasteries. It is a drink made 

household of France. Siguat. m. iii. of wine, honey, and spices. ** Thei ne- 



ENGLISH POEIBY. 11 

Wine of Greke, and musciaddl, 

Both clare, pyment, and rocheil, 

The re^ your stomake to defye 

And pottes of osey sett you. bye. 

You shall have venyson ybake% 

The best wylde fewle that may be take: 

A lese of harehound^ with you to streke, 

And hart^ and hynde, and other lyke» 

Ye shalbe set at sudi a tryst 

That hart and hynde shall came to you fyst 

Your desease to drjrve ye fro, 

To here the bugles there yblowe. 

Homward thus shall ye ryde^ 

On haukyng by the ryvCTS syde, 

With goshauke and wi& g^ntil ftwcon. 

With buglehom and merlyon. 

When you come home your meme amonge, 

Ye shall have revell, daonces, and sot^: 

Lyde chyldren, great and smale, 

Shall syng as doth the nyghtyngale, 

Than shal ye go to your evensong, 

With tenours and trebles among, 



could not medell the gefte of Bacchus the abbess shall present hhli with a pea- 

to the dere honie ; that is to say, they cock, and a cup of piment. Carpentiery 

could not make ne piment ne clarre. ubi supr. vol. iii. p. 277. 

Chaueer's Boeth. p. 371. a. Urr. Clarre *■ Chaucer says of the Frankelein, 

is clarified wine. In French Clarey, Prol. p. 4. Urr. v. S45. 

Peihaps the wme as puncnt, « hypo- Withoutin bake inete never was his 

diss. See Mem. Lit. vm. p. 674. 4to. . house. 

Compare Chauc. Sh. T. v. 2579. Urr. 

Dtt Cange, GloM. Lat ▼. PitfictNTUM. Atid in this poem» ^ignat. B. m. 

SrEcns. and SuppL Carp. «nd Mem. ^j^ |,j^ j„ ^^ j^^ 

sur Pane ChevaUer. u p. 19. 48. I r^^ ^^ ^^ ^^^t ^^ j^e. 

most add, that ^tiy/^trrai^tf or wptti^ 

nfm, sisnified an apothecary among *» In a manuscript of Froissart full of 

die middfe and lower Greeks. See Bu paindngs and illuminations, there is a 

CsDge^ GL Gr. in voc. L 1167. and ii. representation of the grand entrance of 

Append. Etj^iBolog. Vocab. Linft. Gall, queen Isidsel of England into Palis, in 

p. S01.«oL 1. In the register oftheW- the year 1824. She is attended by a 

ibop of ,MiTem<^ nnderthe .year 1287, greyhound who has a flag, powdered 

itii c oti i an ttd, Aat wfaeneyertfaebishop with fleurs de lys, bound to his neck. 

ilafl«Mritima!»ii| S* Hiury*8 abbey, Montf. Monum. Fr. ii. p. 234. 



12 THE HISTORY OF 

Threscore of copes of damaskHbryght 
Full of perles &ey shalbe pyghte.— 
Your sensours shalbe of golde 
Endent with asure manie a fdide: 
Your quere nor organ songe shal want 
With countre note and dyscaunt 
The other halfe on prgayns playing, 
With yong chyldren ftd fayn syngjrng* 
Than shal ye go to your suppere 
And sytte m tentis in grene arbere, 
With clothe of arras pyght to the grounde, 
With saphyres set of dyamounde. — 
A hundred knyghtes truly tolde 
Shall plaie with bowles in alayes colde* 
Your disease to dryve awaie, 
To se the fisshes yn poles plaie. 
To a drawe brydge then shal ye, 
Thone halfe of stone, thother of tre, 
A barge shal meet you Aill ryht, 
With xxiiii ores ftd bryght, 
With trompettes and with claryowne, 
The fire§she watir to rowe up and downe. 
Then shal you, doughter, aske the wyne 
Wyth spises that be gode and fyne: 
Gentyll pottes, with genger grene, 
Wyth dates and deynties you betweene. 
Fortie torches brenynge bright 
At your brydges to bring you lyght 
Into youre chambre they shall you brynge 
Wyih muche myrthe and more lykynge. 
Your blankettes shal be of ftistyane. 
Your shetes shal be of cloths of rayne^ : 

*^ cloath, or linen, of Rennes, adty in Tela de Reynet is mentioned among 

Britany. Chaucer, Dr. ▼. 255. habits delirered to kniffhts of the garter^ 

And many a pilowe, and every here ^ Rich. iL Anstis, Ord. Gart* i. 55* 

Ofcbthe ofraynei to slepe on softe, [Cloath of Rennes seems to ha^e been 

Him thare not nede to tumln ofte. the finest sort of linen. In the old 



ENGLISH POETRY. 13 

Your head-shete shal be of pery pyght^, 

Wyth dyamondes set and rubjrs Inyght 

Whan you are layd in bed so stiSte^ 

A cage of golde Aal hange aloft, 

Wythe longe peper feyre burning. 

And cloves diat be swete smellyng, 

Frankinsense and olibanum. 

That whan ye slepe the taste may come. 

And yf ye no rest can take 

All nyght mynstrels finr you shall wake^ 

Syr Degore is a romance perhaps belonging to the same 
period ^ After his education under a hermit, Sir Degore's 
first adventure is against a dragon. This horrible monster is 
marked with the hand of a master^." 

niiacnpt Mtstskt, or religious comedy, See what I haye observed conceming 

of Kakt MAOi>Ai.xirKy writteii in 1512, the nuinber twklts, Intiod. Diss. i. 

t Gaiakt, one of the retainers to the 'It contains thirty-two pages in 

gnnipeofthe Seven Deadly Sins, is in- quarto. Coloph. "Thus emleth the 

trodaced with the following speech. Tretyse of Syr D^^ore, imprynted by 

Hof, Hof, Hpf, a fiysch new galaunt ! Willyam Copland.*^ lliere is another 

Ware of thryft, ley tiiat a doune : COPX dated 1560. There is a manu- 

What mene ye, synys, that I were a scriptofitamoogbishopMore'satCam- 

marchaunt, bridge, BibL PubL 69a 36. Syr De- 

Because that I am new com to toun? OAa*. 

With piaty .... wold I fayne round, [Tlus romance has been published in 

I have a shot of reyns with sieves pe- « ^ork entitled " Select Pieces of Ear- 

neaunt, ly Popular Poetry, reprinted from the 

A laie of sylke for my lady Constan(>— Black Letter," and is analysed by Mr. 

IwcUjor even, be shaven for to seme Ellis in his " Specimens.*' From a 

yong, &C. fragment of it preserved in the Auchin- 

Soaho m Skelton's Maontficenc., a !f ^ ^^S. it is clear that the poem in 

MoniUty written much about the same '^ ^^^ ^°™ ?« ^ unskilful nfaa. 

tinie, f. XX. b. fnertto of an earner version, smce the 

v«^ i * . j» i^_. writer was even ignorant of the true 

Your Aynne, that was wn^pedm iA^« ^^ ^^ pronouncSig the hero's name. 

W«Jf *^'^^* _ , _, Throughout Copland's edition — with 

«owe must be storm ybcten. one exception— U is a word of t^osylUu- 

. . . AnwTioHs.J bles,rhymingwith 'before ';butin p. 135 

"Inlaid with jewels." Chaucer, ofthereprintweobtam its true accentual 

An. T. V. 2938. p. 22. Urr. tion as exhibited in the AuchinleckMSS. 

And then with doth of gold and with . . v l^ o -n ^ 

p^* ^ As was the yonge knyght Syr Deg<»re, 

i^iV^ , , , , But none wyst what man was he. 

Ana m numberless other places. 

* Sign. D. iL seq. At die close of the The name is intended to express, as the 

i^^ipttnce it is said tbat the king, in the author tells us (line 230), "a thing ^or 

^^dia great feast which la^ed forty person) almost lost," Digari or XV- 

P^ created the squire king in his room; gar^.— Edit.] 

^ the presence of his twelve loeds. ' Sign. B. ii. 



14' t;he history of 

• Degore ' went furth his waye, 
Through a j^est half a daye : 
He herd no man, nor sawe none, 
Tyll yt past the hygh i^>iie, 
Then herde h^ grete strokes falle. 
That yt made grete noyse with allc^ 
Full sone he thoght that to se^ 
To wete what the str<^e^ myght be : 
There was an erle, both stout and gaye^ 
He was com ther that same daye, 
For to hunt for a dere or a do, 
But bys houndes were gone hym fro. 
Then was ther a dragon grete and grynmie^ 
Full of fyre and also venymme, 
Wyth a wyde throte and tuskes grete, 
Uppon that knygte fast gan he bete. 
And as a lyon then was hys feete, 
Hys tayle was long, and fall immeete : 
Betw^ie hys head and hys tayle 
Was xxii fote withouten feyle ; 
Hys body was lyke a wyne tonne. 
He shone ful bryght agaynst the sunne : 
Hys eyen were bright as any glasse. 
His scales were hard as any brasse ; 
And therto he was necked lyke a horse. 
He bare hys hed up wyth grete force : 
The breth of hys mouth that did out blow 
As yt had been a fyre on lowe. 
He was to loke on, as I you telle. 
As yt had bene a fiende of helle. 
Many a man he had shent. 
And many a horse he had rente. 

As the minstrel profession became a science, and the au- 
diaice grew more civilised, refinements began to be studied, 
and the romantic poet sought to gain new attention, and to 



ENGLISH POETRY. 15 

recomm^id his story, by giving it the advantage of a plan. 
Most of the old metrical romances are, from their nature, sup- 
posed to be incoherent rhapsodies. Yet many of them have 
a regular integrity, in which every part contributes to produce 
an intended end. Through various obstacles and difficulties 
one point is kept in view, till the final and general catastrophe 
is brought about by a pleasing and unexpected surprise. As 
a specimen of the rest, and as it lies in a narrow compass, I 
will develop the plan of the fiible now before us, which pre- 
serves at least a coincidence of events, and an uniformity of 
design. 

A king's daughter of England, extremely beautiful, is so- 
licited in marriage by niunerous potentates of various king- 
doms. The king her father vows, that of all these suitors, that 
champion alone shall win his daughter who can unhorse him 
at a tournament This they all attempt, but in vain. The 
king every year assisted at an anniversary mass for the soul of 
his deceased queen, who was interred in an abbey at some di- 
stance from his castle. In the journey thither, the princess 
strays from her damsels in a solitary forest : she is discovered 
by a knight in rich armour, who by many solicitations pre- 
vails over her chastity, and, at parting, gives her a sword with- 
out a point, which he charges her to keep safe ; together with 
a pair of gloves, which will fit'iio hands but her own^. At 
length she finds the road to her father's castle, where, after 
some time, to avoid discovery, she is secretly delivered of a boy. 
Soon after the delivery, the princess having carefiiUy placed 
the child in a cradle, with twenty pounds in gold, ten pounds 
in silver, the gloves given her by the strange knight, and a 
letter, consigns him to one of her maidens, who carries him by 
night, and leaves him in a wood, near a hermitage, which she 
discerned by the light of the moon. The hermit in the mom- 

' Gloves were antiently a costly article cum lapidibus pretiosis ponderant. xliii s, 

ofdressy and richly decorated. They et iiicf. ob. £t de ii. paribus chirothe- 

were sometiines adorned with precious canim cum lapidibus." This golden 

stones. Rot. Pip. an. 53. Henr. iii. comb, set with jewels, realises the won- 

[A.D. 1267.] "Etdei. pectine auri ders of romance. 



16 THE HISTORY OF 

ing discovers the Child ; reads tlie letter, by which it appears 
that the gloves will fit no lady but the boy's mother, educates 
him till he is twenty years of age, and at parting gives him th< 
gloves found with him in the cradle, telling him that they will 
fit no lady but his own mother. The youth, who is called 
Degore, sets forward to seek adventures, and saves an earl 
from a terrible dragon, which he kiUs. The earl invites him 
to his palace, dubs him a knight, gives him a horse and armour, 
and offers him half his territory. Sir Degore refuses to acc^t 
this offer, unless the gloves, which he had received firom his 
foster-fiither the hermit, will fit any lady of his court All the 
ladies of the earl's court are called before him, and among the 
rest the earl's daughter, but upon trial the gloves will fit none 
of them. He therefore takes leave of the earl, proceeds on his 
adventures, and meets with a large train of knights; he is in-» 
fi)rmed that they were going to tourney with the king of En- 
gland, who had promised his daughter to that knight who could 
conquer him in single combat. They tell him of the many barons 
and earls whom the king had foiled in several trials. Sir De- 
gore, however, enters the lists, overthrows the king, and obtains 
the princess. As the knight is a perfect stranger, she submits 
to her fether's commands with much reluctance. He marries 
her ; but in the midst of the solemnities which preceded the 
consummation, recollects the gloves which the hermit had given 
him, and proposes to make an experiment with them on the 
hands of his bride. The princess, on seeing the gloves, changed 
colour, claimed them for her own, and drew them on with the 
greatest ease. She declares to Sir Degore that she was his 
mother, and gives him an account of his birth : she told him 
that the knight his &ther gave her a pointless sword, which 
was to be deUvered to no person but the son that should be 
bom of their stolen embraces. Sir Degore draws the sword, 
and contemplates its breadth and length with wonder : is sud- 
denly seized with a desire of finding out his father. He sets 
forward on this search, and on his way enters a casde, where 
he is entertained at supper by fifteen beautiful damsels, The 



ENGLISH jPOETRY. 17 

lady of the castle invites him to her bed, but in vain; and he is 
lulled asleep by .the sound of a harp. Various artifices are used 
to divert him fi*om his pursuit, and the lady even engages him 
to encounter a giant in her cause \ But Sir Degore rejects all 
her temptations, and pursues his journey. In a forest he meets 
a knight richly accoutred, who demands the reason why Sir De- 
gore presumed to enter his forest without permission. A com- 
bat ensues. In the midst of the contest, the combatants being 
both unhorsed, the strange knight observing the sword of his 
adversary not only to be remarkably long and broad, but without 
a point, begs a truce for a moment He fits the sword to a point 
which he had always kept, and which had formerly broken ofi* 
in an encounter with a giant; and by this circumstance disco- 
vers Sir Degore to be his son. They both return into England, 
and Sir Degore's father is married to the princess his mother. 

The romance of Kyng Robert of Sicily begins and pro- 
ceeds thus*. 

{^Here is of kyng Robert cfCicyle^ 
Hou pride dtide him beguile.'] 
Princis proude that bene in preesse, 
A thing I wull yow tell that is no lees. 
In Cesill was a nobill kyng, 
Fayre and strong and sumdel yong^; 
He had a broder in grete Rome 
Pope of all Cristyndome 5 

^ All the romances have such an ob- copied ttom. th6 tiarL MS. S25, with 

Btade as this. They have all an enchan- the exception of the passages in brackets, 

tress, who detains the knight from his which bav^ been taken from Warton*s 

quest by objects of pleasure; and who transcriptofthe Vernon MS. Mr. Ellis, 

is nothmg more than ^e Calypso of who has analysed it, concurs with War. 

Homer, the Dido of Virgil, and the ton in opinion <<that the history of the 

Armida of Tasso. Emperor Jovinian in the 59th chapter 

^ MS. Vernon, ut supr. 3ibL Bodl. of Ihe Gesta RomanorUm is nearly iden- 

f'299. It is also in Caius College Camb. tical with this romance.** He further 

MSS. Class. E 174. 4. and Bibl.^ adds :« The incidents, however, are not 

PubL Cambr. MSS. More, 690. 35. exactly similar; and in some of these the 

and Brit. Mus. MSS. Harl. 5525. 2. Latin prose has a manifest advantage 

f. 35. Cod. mend>ran. Never printed. over the minstrel poem.**— «£dit.] 

[The extract^ in thb edition have been '^ syng» MS. Vernon. 

VOL. II. C 



4 



18 THE HISTORY OF 

Anoder broder in Almayne, 

Emperour that Sarysinys wrought agejm. 

The kyng was called kyng Roberd, 

Never man wyst him aferd, 

He was kyng of mikell honour 

He was cleped a conquerour : 

In noo land was his pere, 

Kyng ne duke, fer ne nere : 

For he was of chyvallry flour, 

His broder was made emperour : 

His oder broder Goddis vyker, 

Pope of Rome, as I seyde ere ; 

He was cleped pope Urban, 

He loved bothe God [and] man : 

The emperour was cleped sir Valamond, 

A stronger werroiu* was none found. 

After his broder of Cecyle, 

Of whom I will speke awhyle. 

That kyng thought he had no pere 

In all the world, ferre ne nere, 

And in his thought he had pryde, 

For he hadde no pere in never a syde. 

And on a nyght of seynt John 

The baptist, the kyng to cherche wold gon, 

For to heren his evensong; 

Him thought he dwelled there to long, 

His thought was more in worldly honour 

Thanne in Jesu our Saviour : 

In Magnificat* he herd a vers, 

He made a clerke it to rehers. 

In langage of his owne tunge. 

In Lateyn he ne west"* that they songe; 

The verse was this I telle the, 

Deposuit potentes de sede 

* the hymn so called. °* ne wist, knew not. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 19. 

Et exaUavit humilesy 

That was the verse wethought lees : 

The clerke seyde anon ryght, 

** Sir, soche is Goddis myght, 

That he may make hie lowe 

And low hie in a lytyll throwej 

God may do, without lye. 

His will in twenkelynge of a nye»." 

The kyng seyde with thought unstabill 

** Ye rede and syng false in fable : 

What man hath that power 

To bryng me in soche daunger? 

My name is flour of chevalrye, 

Myn enemyes I may distroye : 

Noman leveth now in londe 

That me may now with stonde. 

Thenne is this a song of nought" 

This is errour thenne he thought. 

And in his slepe a thought him toke*. 

In his pulpitte° as seyih the booke. 

Whanne even song was all idone, 

A kyng lyke him home ganne gone 

All men gonne with him wende, 

Thenne was the toder kyng out of myndeP. 

The newe kyng, as I the teUe, 

Was Goddis aungell his pryde to felle. 

The aungell in halle joy made, 

And all his men of him were glade. 

The kyng waked that was in cherche. 

His men he thougth woo to werche ; 

For he was left there alone, 

And derke nyght felle him uppone. 

■ eye. ^ " A king like him went out of the 

[* << And in his thought a sleep him tok," chapel, and all the company with him ; 

MS. Vernon. ] while Uie real king Robert was forgotten 

** stall, or seat. and left behind." 

C2 



20 THE HISTORY OF 

He ganne cry for his men, 

Ther was none that spake ayen. 

But the sexteyn of the cherche att last 

Swythly to hym he ganne goo fast, 

And seyd ** What doost thou here, 

Fals thefe, and theves fere? 

Thou art here felonye to werche 

To robbe God and holy churche," &c. 

The kyng ranne ought thanne faste ; 

As a man that were wode, 

Att his paleys there he stode, 

And called the porter: " False gadlyng% 

Open the yates in hyeng^" 

Anon the yates to on doo, 

The porter [seide] "Who clepeth* soo?" 

He answerd ryght anon, 

** Thou shalt wete ar we gone ; 

Thy lord I am thou shalt wele knowe : 

In pryson thou shallt lye fiill lowe, 

[And ben an-hanged and to-drawe 

As a traytoiu* bi the lawe,] 

Thou shalt wete I am kyng," &c. 

When admitted, he is brought into the hall; where the 
angel, who had assumed his place, makes him the fool of the 
hcUlf and cloathes himin a fool's coat He is then sent out to 
lie with the dogs ; in which situation he envies the condition 
of those dogs, which in great multitudes were permitted to re- 
main in the royal hall. At length the emperor Valemounde 
sends letters to his brother king Robert, inviting him to visit, 
with himself their brother the pope at Rome. The angel, 
who personates king Robert, welcomes the messengers, and 
cloathes them in the richest apparel, such as could not be made 
in the world. 

** renegade, traitor. ' at the call [in haste]. * calls. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 21 

The aungell welcomed the messageris, 
And gaf hem clothyng ryche of pryse, 
Forred it was all with ermyn. 
In Cristyndome was none soo fyn; 
And all was congetted with perles ryche. 
Never man sawe none hem leche : 
Soche clothyng and it were to dyght, 
All Cristendome hem make ne myght, 
Where soche clothyng were to selle, 
Ne who them made kanne noman jtelL 
And all they were of o clothyng 
Soche before mad never kyng ; 
The messangeres wentt with the kyngS 
To grete Rome without lettyng; 
The fole Robert with him went, 
Clothed in a folis gamement, 
With foxis taylys hongyng al abowght, 
Men myght him knowe in ye rought, &c. 
The aungell was clothed all in wUte, 
TThere was never fonde soche a wyghte r 
All was cowched in perles rydie, 
Saw never man anoder him liche* 
All was whyte bothe tyre and stede, 
The place was feyr ther they yede"; 
So fayre a stede as he on rode 
Was never man that ever bystrode. 
And so was all his aparell 
All men there of hadde mervayle. 
Hys men were all rychely dyght 
Jlere ^ reches can telle no wyght, 
Of clothis, gyrdelis, and oder thyngis, 
Every squyer men thought knyghtis * ; 
All they redyn in ryche araye, 
But kyng Robert as I you saye, 

' that IS, the angel. "^ their. 

" went. ' [a kyng. MS. Vernon.] 



22 THEHISTORYOF 

[ Al men on him gan pyke, 
For he rod al other unlyke. 
An ape rod of his clothing 
In tokne that he was underling.] 
The pope and the emperour also, 
And oder lordis many mo, 
Welcomed the aungell as for kyng 
And maden joye of his comyng, &c. 

Afterwards they return in the same pomp to Sicily, where 
the angel, after so long and ignominious a penance, restores 
king Robert to his royalty. 

Sicily was conquered by the French in the eleventh cen- 
tury", and this tale might have been originally got or written 

' There is an old French Romilnc6, Robert the devill which was afterwards 

Robert ije Diable, often quoted by called the senraunt of our Lorde Jhesu 

Carpentier in his Supplement to Dii Cryste. Emprinted in Fletestrete in 

Cange. And a French Morality , without [at] the sygne of the sonne by Wynkyn 

date or name of the author, in manu- de Worde.** There is an old English 

script, Comment Ufut enjoint a Robert Moralitt on this tale, under the Tery 

le diabUtJUs du due deNormandky pmir corrupt title of Robert Cictll, which 

set mesfaites, def aire lefd sang parler, et was represented at the High-Cross in 

depuis N. 8. u# merci du luu Beau- Chester, in 1529. There is a manu- 

champs, Rech. Theat. Fr. p. 109* This script cppy of the poem, on Tellum, in 

is probably the same Robert. Trinity College library at Oxford, MSS. 

[The French prose romance of Ro- Num. lvu. fol.— AdditiowsJ 

BERT LE Diable, printed in 1496, is ex- [Robert of Cicyle and Robert the 

tant in the little collection, of two vo- Devil, though not identical, are clearly 

lumes, called Bxbliotheque Bleue. It members of the same family, and this 

has been translated into other languages : poetic embodiment of their lives is evi- 

among the rest into English. The dently the offspring of that tortuous opi- 

English version was printed by Wynkyn nion so prevalent in the middle ages, and 

de Worde, The title of one of Uie which time has mellowed into a vulgar 

chapters is, How God sent an awngell to adage, that <* the greater the sinner the 

the hermyte to shewe him the penaunce greater the saint." The subject of the 

that he sholdegyve to Robert fir his synnes. bitter poem was doubtlessly Robert the 

— '< Yf that Robert wyll be shry ven of first duke of Normandy, who became 

his synnes, he must kepe and counter- an early object of legendary scandal ; 

feite the wayes of a fole and be as he and the transition to me same line of 

were dombe, &&" It ends thus, potentates in $icily was an easy effort 

Thus endeth the lyfe of Robert the devyU T''^^*,"?. l!'?!^"!?- J^^T^^ 

That was the scrvaunte of our lorde. '*«*"* °' ^" Gowther recenUy pub- 

inat was tne Mrvaunte ot our lorde. jj^^ . ^ „ ^^^ p; ^ j^. 

FH.^"^-n'*^T3^^*v"w^"v "^^ PopuJar Poetry," is only a different ver^ 
Wo^e ^ ^^ «°° °f Robert ihe Devil with a change 

of scene, names, &c The Bihliotheque 
The volume has this colophon. « Here Bleue is a voluminous collection, of 
endeth the lyfe of the moost fcrcfullest . which Warton appears to have seen only 
and unmercyfuUest and myschcvous two volumcSi— Edit.] 



ENGLISH POETRY. * 23 

during their possession of that island, which continued through 
many monarchies °. But Sicily, from its situation, became a 
familiar country to all the western continent at the time of the 
Crusades, and consequently soon found its way into romance, 
as did many others of the Mediterranean islands and coasts, 
for the same reason. Another of them, Cilicia, has accordingly 
given title to an antient tale called The King of Tars ; from 
which I shall give some extracts, touched with a rude but ex- 
pressive penciL 

" Her bigeimeth of the Kyng of Tars, and of the Soudan 
of DammiasP, how the Soudan of Dammias was criist^ied thorn 
Godis gras V 

Herkeneth now, bothe olde and yyng. 
For Maries love, that swete thyng : 

How a werre bigan 
Bitwene a god Cristene kyng, 
And an hethene heyhe lordyng, 

Of Damas the Soudan. 
The kyng of Taars hedde a wyf, 
The feireste that mighte here lyf. 

That eny mon telle can : 
A doughter thei hadde hem bitween, 
That heore' rihte heir scholde ben; 

White so» fether of swan: 

** A passage in Fauchet^ speaking of ^ Damascus, 

rhyme, may perhaps deserve attention * MS. Vernon. BibL BodL f. 304. 

here. << Pour le regai*d de SidHentt je It is also in BibL Adv. Edinb. W 4. 1. 

metienspresqueasseure, queOuillaume Num. iv. In five leaves and a half. 

Ferrabrach fr^e de Robert Guischard Never printed. 

et autres seigneurs de Calabre et Fouille [This romance will be found in Mr. 

en&ns de Tancred Francois- Normand, Ritson's Collection, voU ii. from whose 

Tout portee aux pais de leur conqueste, transcript the present text has been cor- 

estant une coustume des gens de de9a rected. On the authority of Douglas's 

chanter, avant que combattre, les beaux version of the ^neid and Ruddiman*8 

faits de leurs ancestres, composez en Glossary, he interprets << Tars** to mean 

vers," Rec p. 70. Boccacio*s Tancred, Tlirace; but as the story is one of pure 

in his beautiful Tale of Tancred and invention, and at best but a romantic le- 

SioisnaNDA, was one of these Fntnco- gend, why not refer the Damas and 

Norman kings of Sicily. Compare Nouv. Tars of the text to the Damascus and 

Abreg. Chronol. Hist. Fr. pag. 102. Tarsus of Scripture?— Edit.] 

edit. 1752. ' ' their. • as. 



24 



THE HISTORY OF 



Chaast heo * was, and feir of chere, 
With rode" red so blosme on brere, 

Eyyen^ stepe and gray, 
With lowe schuldres, arid whyte swerie*; 
Hire to seo^ was gret prey ere 

Ofprinces pert m play. 
The word* of hire sprong ftd wyde 
Feor and ner, bi vche a syde : 

The Soudan herde say ; 
Him thoughte his herte wolde breke on five 
Bot he mihte have hire to wyve. 

That was so feir a may ; 
The Soudan ther he sat in halle ; 
He sente his messagers faste withalle, 

To hire fader the kyng. 
And seide, hou so hit ever bifalle, 
That mayde he wolde clothe in palle 
And spousen hire with his ryng. 
" And elles* I swere withouten fayle 
I schull** hire winnen in pleyn battayle 

With mony an heih lordyng," &c. 

The Soldan, on application to the king of Tarsus for his 
daughter, is refused ; and the messengers return without suc- 
cess. The Soldan's anger is painted with great characteris- 
tical spirit. 

The Soudan sat at his des, 
I served of his furste mes; 

Thei comen into the halle 
To fgre the prince proud in pres, 
Heore tale thei tolden withouten lees 

And on heore knees gunne falle : 
And seide, " Sire, the king of Tars 
Of wikked wordes nis not scars, 



* she. " ruddy [complexion]. 

^ eyes. ' neck. ^ see. 



■ The report of her. 

■ also [else]. b thalL 



ENGLISHPOETRY. 25 

Hethene hound* he doth the' calle; 
And er his dougbtur he gire the tilled 
Thyn herte blode he wol spille 

And thi barouns elle.^ 
Whcm the Soudan this ih^rde, 
As a wod man he ^de, 

His robe he rente adoun ; 
He tar the her'' of bed and berd, 
And seide he woM her vnne * with gwerd, 

Beo his lord seynl Mahomi* 
The taMe adoun riht he smot, 
In to the floore foc^ hot^5 

He lokede as a wyMe Ijoun ; 
Al that he hitte he smot dotan r^ 
Bothe sergaunt and kniht^ 

Erl and eke baroun. 
So he ferde finrsothe a pliht, 
Al a day, i^id al a luht, 

That no man mihte him chaste '^ : 
A morwen whon hit was day ISit, 
He sent his messagers fill riht, 

After his barouns in haste : 
[That thai com to his parlement, 
For to heren his jugement 

Bothe lest and mast. 
When the parlement was pleyner, 
Tho bispac the Soudan fer, 

And seyd to hem in hastjf 
" Lordynges," he sdth, " what to rede ', 
Me is don a grete mysdede, 

• A phrase often applied to the Sara- son «wiTe," from whence the reading 
cens. So in i^ Bevys, Signat. C.ii.b. in. the text was too obvious not to be 

To npAeynU^^Hetkene *««*. •^,^^^. 

' thee. k check. 

• *| Before his daughter is given to f [Th® ^'"^^ within brackets were in- 
thee.** serted by Mr. Ritson from the Auchin- 

»» " tore the hair." leek MS Edit.] 

• [Warton reads "wene," and Kit- * " what counsel shall we take.** 



26 THEHISTORYOF 

Of Taars. the Cristen kyng; 
I bed him bothe lond aad lede 
To have his douhter in worthli wed^ 

And spouse hire w}th my ryng. 
And he seide, witbouten fayle 
Arst he wolde me sle in b^ijayle. 

And mony a gret lojrdj^ige. 
Ac series °^ he schal be forswore, 
Or to wrothe hele° that he was bore. 

Bote he hit therto** bryng^ 
Therefore lordynges, I have after ow sent 
For to come to my parliment. 

To wite of zow counssffle" 
And alle onswerde with gode entent 
Thei wolde be at his comaundement 

Withouten eny fayl^ 
And whon thei were alle at his heste, 
The Soudan made a wel gret feste. 

For love of his batayle; 
The Soudan gedred an oste imryde^. 
With Sarazyns of muohel pryde, 

The kyng of Taars to assayle. 
Whon the kyng hit herde that tyde 
He sent about on vche asyde^ 

Alle that he mihte of seende ; 
Gret werre tho bigan to wrake 
For the manage ne most be take 

Of that mayden heende*i. 
Batayle thei sette uppon a day, 
Withinne the thridde day of May, 

"* But certainly. To zow al was a wikke conseile, 

" Loss of health or safety. Maledic- That ze selle se fuU wrotherheile, 

tion. So R. of Brunne, Chron. apud ° to that issue. 

Hearne*s Rob. Glouc. p. 737. 7S8. ^ unright, wicked [numerous]. 

■Air j*j A. M ^ hend. handsome, [courteous. A 

Morgan did after conseUe, general term expSs^ve of perso- 

And wrought him selfe to i^ro/fcrAnfe. «,, ^j mental accomplishmeito.- 

Again, Edit.] 



ENGLISH tOETRY. 27 

Ne longer nolde thei lee^de^ 
The Soudan com with gret power, 
With hehn briht, and feir baneer, 

Uppon that kyng to wende. 
The Soudan ladde an huge ost. 
And com with muche pruyde and cost, 

With the kyng of Tars to fihte. 
With him mony a Sarazyn feer% 
Alle the feldes feor and neer, 

Of hehnes leomede * Hhte, 
The kyng of Tars com also 
The Soudan batayle for to do 

With mony a Cristene knihte ; 
Either ost gon othur assayle 
Ther bigon a strong batayle 

Thatgrislychwasofsiht 
Threo hethene ayein twey Cristene men, 
And fidde hem doun in the fen, 

With wepnes stif and goode : 
The steome Sarazyns in that fiht, 
Slowe vr Cristen men doun riht, 

Thei fouhte as heo weore woode. 
The Soudan ost in that stounde 
Feolde the Cristene to the grounde, 

Mony a freoly foode ; 
The Sarazyns, withouten feyle. 
The Cristens culde" in that battayle, 

Nas non that hem withstoode. 
Whon the king of Tars sauh that siht 
Wodde he was for wrathe^ apliht; 

In honde he hent a spere. 
And to the Soudan he rode fid riht. 
With a dunt^ of much miht, 

Adoun he gon him here : 

' tany, • companion. ^ wraj^f e. Orig. 

* shone " kiUed. * dint, wound, stroke. 



^8 THEHISTORYOF 

The Soudan neigh he hedde islawe, 
But thritti thousent of hethene lawe 

Cooinen him for to were; 
And broughten him ayeyn upon his sted^ 
And hoipe him wel in that nede, 

That no mon miht him dere ^. 
Whon he was brouht uppon his stede, 
He sprong as sparkle doth of glede', 

For wrathe and for envye*; 
Alle that he hutte he made hem blede, 
He ferde as he wolde a wede% 

<< Mahoun help/' he gan crye. 
Mony an helm ther was unweved, 
And mony a bacinet^ tocleved, 

And sadeles mony emptye ; 
Men mihte se uf^n Uie feld 
Moni a kniht ded under scheld, 

Of the Cristen cumpagnie. 
Whon the kyng of Taars saugh hem so ryde, 
No lengor there he nolde abyde, 

Bote fleyh^ to his oune cite: 
The Sarazyns, that ilke tyde, 
Slough adoun bi vche syde 

Vr Cristene folk so fire. 
The Sarazjms that tyme, sauns fayle, 
Slowe vre Cristene in battayle, 

That reuthe hit was to se; 
And on the morwe for heore^ sake 
Truwes thei gunne togidere takeS 

A moneth and dayes thre. 
As the kyng of Tars sat in his halle, 
He made fill gret deol^ withalle, 

y hurt * their. 

* coal, fire-brand. * They begin to make a truce toge- 

* as if he w^ mad. ther. 

^ helmet. ^ dole, grief. 

* flew. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 29 

For the fdk that he hedde ilore< 
His douhter com in riche palle, 
On kneos heo^ gon biforen him fidle. 

And seide with ^king sore: 
^* Fader," heo seide, " let me beo his wyf, 
That ther be no more stryf," &c 

To prevent future bloodshed, the princess vdiuntarily de- 
clares she is willing to be married to the Soldan, although a 
Pagan: and notwithstanding the king her father peremptorily 
refuses his consent, and resolves to continue the war, with 
mndi difficulty she finds means to fly to the Soldan's court, 
in order to produce a speedy and lasting reconciliation by 
marrying him. 

To the Soudan heo^ is i&re ; 
He com with mony an heigh lordyng, 
Fat to welcom that swete thyng, 

Ther heo com in hire diare*^ : 
He custe* hire wel mony a sithe 
His joye couthe no man kithe"*, 

Awei was al hire care. 
Into chambre heo was led. 
With riche clothes heo was cled, 

Heth^tie as thaug heo were". 
The Soudan ther he sat in halle. 
He comaundede his knihtes alle 

That mayden for to fette. 
In cloth of riche purpil palle. 
And on hire hed a comeli calle, 

Bi the Soudan heo was sette. 
Unsemli was hit for to se 
Heo that was so bright of ble 

To habbe^ so foule a mette^^, &c. 

■ iMt. ^ she. "as if she had been a heathen, one 

^ she. ^chariot. of that country. 

» kist. " know. • hate. » mate. 



so THE HISTORY OF 

They are then married, and the wedding is solemnized with a 
grand tournament, which they both view from a high. tower- 
She is afterwards delivered of a son, which is so deformed as 
to be ahnost a monster. But at length she persuades the 
Soldan to turn Christian ; and the young prince is baptized, 
after which ceremony he suddenly becomes a child of most 
extraordinary beauty. The Soldan next proceeds to destroy 
his Saracen idols. 

He hente a staf with herte grete^ 
And al his goddes he gan to bete. 

And drouh hem alle adoun ; 
And leyde on til that he con swete, 
With Sterne strokes and with grete, 

On Jovyn* and Plotoun, 
On Astrot and sire Jovin 
On Tirmagaunt and ApolUn, 

He brak hem scolle and croun ; 
On Tirmagaunt, that was heore brother, 
He lafte no lym hole with other, 

Ne on his lord seynt Mahoun, &c. 

The Soldan then releases thirty thousand Christians, whom he 
had long detained prisoners. As an apostate from the pagan 
religion, he is powerfully attacked by several neighbouring 
Saracen nationsu: but he solicits the assistance of his father-in- 
law the king of Tars ; and they both joining their armies, in 
a pitched battle, defeat five Saracen kings, Kenedoch, Lesyas 
king of Taborie, Merkel, Cleomadas, and Membrok. There 
is a warmth of description in some passages of this poem, not 
unlike the manner of Chaucer. The reader must have already 

* [I know not if by sire Jovyn he characters, printed at Lyons, from an 

means Jupiter, or the Roman emperour antient copy in 1581, 8vo, with the 

called Jovinian, against whom saint MeL^Or^iiBiletjyresampHonde fJEmpe' 

Jerom wrote, and whose history is in reur Jovinian. But Jow/n being men- 

the Gbsta Romanoaum, c. 59* He is tioned here with Plotoun and ApoUbif 

mentioned by Chaucer as an example seems to mean Jove or Jujnteri and 

of pride, luxury, and lust. Somp. T. the appellation sire perhaps implies 

▼. 7511. Vender (in v.) recites a yb/Aer, or cAig^,^ of the heathen gocb.— 

Moraliti on Jovinian, widi nineteen Additions.] 



ENGLISH POETRY. SI 

obseirved, that the stanza resembles that of Chaucer's Rime of 
Sm TopAS**. 

Ipomedon is mentioned among the romances in the Pro- 
logue of RicHARP CuER DE Lyon ; which, in an antient copy 
of the British Museum, is called Syr Ipomydon : a name bel- 
lowed from the Theban war, and transferred here to a tale of 
the feudal times'". This piece is evidently derived from a 
French original Our hero Ippomedon is son of Ermones 
king of Apulia, and his mistress is the fair heiress of Calabria. 
About the year 1230, William Ferrabras*, and his brethren, 
sons of Tancred the Norman, and well known in the romantic 
history of the Paladins, acquired the signories of Apulia and 
Calabria. But our English romance seems to be immediately 
translated from the French; for Ermones is called king of 
Poyfe, or Apulia, which in French is Pouille. I have tran* 
scribed some of the most interesting passages ^ 

Ippomedon, although the son of a king, is introduced wait- 
ing in his father's hall, at a grand festival. This servitude 
was so fer &om being dishonourable, that it was always re- 
quired as a preparatory step to knighthood "# 

Every yere the kyng wold 
At Whytsontyde a fest hold 
Off dukis, erlis, and barons. 
Many there come frome dyvers townes, 
Ladyes, maydens, gentill and fre. 
Come thedyr from ferre contre : 
And grette lordis of ferre lond, 
Thedyr were prayd by fore the hond^. 
When all were come togedyr than 
There was joy of mani a man; 

^TheTomanceof SirLibeauxotLt- [-Printed in Mr. Web^*s collection of 

Bivs DiscoNius, quoted by Chaucer, is Metrical Romances, whose text has been 

inthisstanza. MSS.Cott.CAL.A2.f.40. substituted for Warton*s. Jt has also 

^ ' MSS. Harl. 2252. 44. f. 54. And been analysed by Mr. Ellis.— Edit.] 

in the Ubrarv of Lincoln cathedral ' Bras defer. Iron arms. ' 

(K. k. S. 10.) is an antient imperfect ^ MSS. f. 55. ''Seevol«i«p«43|note^ 

printed copy, wanting the first sheet. ^ before-hand. 



S2 THEHISTORYOP 

FuU liche I wote were hyr sendee^ 
For better might no man devyse. 
Ipomydon that day servyd in halle, 
All spake of hym boAe grete and smalle. 
Ladies and maydens by helde hym on, 
^ So godely a man they had sene none : 

Hys feyre diere in halle theym smert 
That mony a lady smote throw the hert 
And in there hertis they made mone 
That there lordis ne were suche one. 
After mete they went to pley. 
All the peple, as I you sey; 
Some to chambre, and some to boure. 
And some to the hye towre* ; 
And some in the halle stode 
And spake what hem thought gode : 
Men that were of that cite "f 
Enquered of men of other cuntre, &c. 

Here a ccmversation commences concerning the heiress of 
Calabria: and the young Prince Ippomedon immediately forms 
a resolution to visit and to win her. He sets out in disguise. 

Now they go furth on her way, 
Ipomydon to hys men gan say, 
That ther be none of hem alle. 
So hardy by bis name hym calle, 
Whereso thei wend ferre or nere, 
Or over the strange ryvere ; 
<^ Ne man telle what I am, 
What I schall be, ne wh^is I cam." 
All they granted hys commandemetit, 
And forthe they went with one assent. 

* In the feudal castles, where many schemes of amusement in¥en(ecL One 

persons of bodi sexes were assembled, of these was to mount to the top ofone 

and who did not know how to spend the of the highest towers in the casUe. 
time, it is natural to suppose that difTe- ^ The Apulians. 
rent parties were formed, and difTerent 



ENGLISH POETRY. 33 

Ipomydon and Tholomew 
Robys had on and mantillis new. 
Of the richest that myght bee, 
Ther nas ne suche in that cuntree : 
Ffor many was the ryche stone 
That the mantillis were uppon. 
So longe there weys they have nome* 
That to Calabre they ar come : 
They come to the castelle yate 
The porter was redy there at, 
The porter to theme they gan calle 
And prayd hym go into the halle 
And say thy lady^ gent and fre, 
That come ar men of ferre contr^ 
And if it plese hyr we wold hyr prey, 
That we might ete with hyr to day. 
The porter seyd fiill cortessly 
" Your errand to do I am redy." 
The lady to hyr mete was sette, 
The porter come and feyre hyr grette, 
** Madame," he sayd, " God you save," 
Atte your gate gestis ye have. 
Strange men all for to see 
Thei aske mete for charyte." 
The lady comaundith sone anon 
That the gates, were undone, 
** And bryng theym all byfore me 
Ffor wele at ese shall they bee." 
They toke hyr pagis hors and alle. 
These two men went into the halle, 
Ipomydon on knees hym sette. 
And the lady feyre he grette : 

* took. character. See a story of a Comtesse, who 
*■ She was lady, by inheritance, of the entertains, a knight in her castle with 
signory. The female feudataiies exer- much gallantry. Mem. sur 1* Anc. Chev. 
osed all the duties and honours of their ii. 69. It is well known that anciently 
feudal jurisdiction in person. In Spen- in England ladies were sheriffs of coun- 
ter, where we read of the Lady of the ties. 
CastUy we are to understand such a 

VOL. II. D 



34 THE HISTORY OF 

^< I am a man of strange contre 
And pray you yflF your will to [so] be 
That I myght dwelle with you to-yere 
Of your norture for to lere**, 
I am come frome ferre lond ; 
Ffor speche I here bi fore the hand 
That your norture and your servyse, 
Ys holden of so grete empryse, 
I pray you that I may dwelle here 
Some of your servyse to lere»" 
The lady by held Iponiydon, 
Hym semyd wde a gentilmon. 
She knew non suche in hjnr lande. 
So goodly a man and wele farand^ ; 
She saw also by his norture 
He was a man of grete valure : 
She cast full sone in hjnr thc^ht 
That for no servyse come he noght; 
Butitwasworshiphyrmito 

In feir servyse hym to do. 

She sayd, " Syr, welcome ye be, 

And all that comyn be with the; 

Sithe ye have had so grete travayle. 

Of a servise ye shall not fayle: . 

In thys contre ye may dwelle here 

And at your will for to lere, 

Of the cuppe ye shall serve me 

And all your men with you shal be. 

Ye may dwelle here at youre wiUe, * 

But** your beryng be full ylle.'* 

" Madame," he sayd, " grantmercy," 

He thankid the lady cortesly. 

She comandyth hym to the mete. 

But or he satte in ony sete. 

He saluted theym grete and smalle, 

As a g^itiUman shuld in halle; 

. ^ learn. ^ handsome. ^ unless. 



ENGLISH POETRY. $S 

All they sayd sone anone. 
They saw nevyr so goodli a mon, 
Ne so light, ne so glad, 
Ne non that so ryche atyre had : 
There was non that sat nor yede% 
But they had mervelle of hys dede^ 
And sayd, he was no lytell sjnre 
That myght shew suche atyre. 
Whan they had ete, and grace sayd, 
And the tabyll away was leyd ; 
Upp than aroos Ipomydon, 
And to the botery he went anon, 
Ant [dyde] hys mantille hym aboute ; 
On hym lokyd all the route. 
Ant every man sayd to other there, 
" Will ye se the proude squeer 
Shall served my ladye of the wyne, 
In hys mantell that is so fyne?" 
That they hym scomyd wist he noght 
On othjnr thyng he had his tho^t 
He toke the cuppe of the botelere. 
And drewe a lace of sylke fill clere, 
Adowne than felle hys mantylle by. 
He prayd hym for hys curtessy. 
That Ijrtelle yifte ^ that he wolde nome 
Tille efte sone a better come. 
Up it toke the botelere, 
Byfore the lady he g^i it here 
And prayd the lady hertely 
To thanke hym of his cortessye, 
All that was tht> in the halle 
Crete honowre they spake hym alle. 
And sayd he was no lytelle man 
That such yiftys 3dffe.kan. 
There he dwellyd many a day. 
And servid the lady wele to pay, 

walked. ^ MwTimtr. ' << who is to servfe.*' ^ i. ^e. his mantle. 

D 2 



36 THEHISTORYOF 

He bare hym on so feyre manere 

To knyghtes, ladyes, and squyere, 

All lovyd hym that com hym by. 

For he bare hym so cortesly. 

The lady had a cosyne that hight Jason, 

Full well he lovyd Ipomydou; 

Where that he yede in or oute, 

Jason went with hym aboute. 

The lady lay, but she slept noght. 

For of the squyere she had grete thoght; 

How he was feyre and shape wele. 

Body and armes, and every dele : 

Ther was non in al hir land 

So wel besemyd dougty of hand. 

But she kowde wete for no case, 

Whens he come ne what he was, 

Ne of no man cowde enquere 

Other than the i^trange squyere. 

She hyr bythought on a quentyse. 

If she myght know in ony wyse, 

To wete whereof he were come ; 

Thys was hyr thoght all and some 

She thought to wode hyr men to tame» 

That she myght knowe hym by his game. 

On the morow whan i^t was day 

To hyr men than gan she say, 

•* To morrow whan it is day lyght, 

Loke ye be all redy dight. 

With youre houndis more and lesse, 

In the forrest to take my grese, 

And there I will myself be 

Youre game to byhold and see." 

Ipomydon had houndis thre 

That he broght frome his cmitre; 

When they were to the wode gone. 

This lady and jbyr men ichcHie, 

* i, tempt. [Probably tone, take, ryihmi gra/w.— WmiR.} 



ENGLISHPOETRY. 37 

And with hem her hoimdis ladde, 

All that ever any howndis hadde. 

Sir Tholomew foryate he noght, 

His maistres howndis thedyr he broght. 

That many a day ne had ronne ere^ 

Full wele he thoght t6 note hem there. 

Whan they come to the laund on hight. 

The quenys pavylon there was pight, 

That she myght se of the best, 

All the game of the forest, 

The wandlessours went throw the forest, 

And to the lady broght many a bestS 

Herte and hynde, buk and doo, 

And othir bestis many moo. 

The howndis that were of gret prise, 

Pluddd downe dere all at a tryse, 

Ipomydon with his houndis thoo 

Drew downe bothe buk and doo. 

More he tok with homidis thre 

Thfui all that othyr compaigne, 

There squyres undyd hyr diere 

Iche man on his owne manere : 

Ipomydon a dere yede unto, 

Full konnyngly gan he it undo, 

So feyre that venyson he gan to dight. 

That bothe hym byheld squyer and knight : 

The lady lokyd oute of her pavyloun, 

And saw hym dight the venyson. 

TTiere she had grete deynte 

And so had all that dyd hym see : 

She saw all that he downe droughe 

Of huntyng she wist he cowde ynoughe 

And thoght in hyr herte then 

That he was come of gentillmen : 

She bad Jason hyr men to calle 

Home they passyd grete and smalle : 

^beast . 



38 THEHISTORYOF 

Home they come sone anone. 
This lady to hyr mete gan gone, 
And of venery* had hyr fille 
For they had take game at wille. 

He is afterwards knighted with great solemnity. 

The heraudes gaff the child *° the gree, 
A M pownde he had to fee, 
Mynstrellys had yiftes of golde 
And fourty dayes thys fest was holde. ^ 

The metrical romance entided La Mort Arthure, pre- 
served in the same repository, is supposed by the learned and 
accurate Wanley, to b^ a translation from the French : who 
adds, that it is not perhaps older than the times of Henry the 
Seventh.^ But as it abounds with m^y Saxon words, and 
seems to be quoted in Syr Bevys, I have given it a place here p. 
Notwithstanding the tide, and the exordium which promises 
the history of Arthur and the Sangreal, — the exploits of Sir 
Lancelot du Lake king of Benwike, his intrigues with Arthur's 
queen Geneura, and his refusal of the beautiful daughter of 
tie earl of Ascalot, form the greatest part of the poem. At the 
close, the repentance of Lancelot and Geneura, who both assume 
the habit of religion, is introduced. The writer mentions the 
Tower of London. The following is a description of a tourna- 
ment performed by some of the knights of the Bound Table**. 

Tho to the castelle gon they fere. 

To the ladye fajrre and bryht : 
Blithe was the ladye thare, 

That they wold dwelle with hyr that nyght 

1 venison, [hunting, game.1 most essentially from Malory's work, 

™ Ippomedon. " MS. f. 61. b. which was a mere compilation, whilst it 

° MSS. HarL 2252. 49. f. 86. Pr. follows with tolerable exactness the 

<<Lordinees that areleffe and deare." French romance of Lancelot; and its 

Never prmted. phraseology, whidi perfectly resembles 

[The late Mr. Ritson was of opinion that of Chester and other authors of 

that [this romance] was versified from the fifteenth century, betrays no marks 

the prose work of the same name written of affectation.— -Ellis. A new edition 

by Malory and printed by Caxton; in of Caxton*s Morte Arthur .^has since 

proof of which he contended that the been published by Mr. Southey.— « 

style is marked by an evident afiectation Edit.] 

of anticjuity. But in truth it difiers p Signat. K. ii. b. ^ MS. f. 89. b. 



ENGLISH POEtRY. 39 

Hastely was there soper yare** 

Off mete and drinke rychely digbt; 
On the morow gon they dine and fiure 

Both Launcelott and that other knight 
Whan they come in to the feld 

Myche there was (^ game and play, 
Awhile they hovid* and byheld 

How Arthtir's knightis rode that day, 
Galehodis^ party bygan to held" 

On fote his knightis ar led away. 
Iiauncelott stiff was undyr scheld, 

Thinkis to helpe yif that he may. 
Besyde hym come than sir Ewayne, 

Breme** as eny wilde bore; 
LaunceDott springis hym ageyne^. 

In rede armys diat he bore : 
A dynte he yaff with mekill mayne. 

Sir Ewayne was mihorsid thare, 
That alle men wente^ he had ben slayne 

So was he womidyd wondyr sare ^. 
Sir Boerte thoughte no thinge good, 

When Syr Ewaine unhorsid was ; 
Forthe he springis, as he were wode. 

To Launcelot withouten lees : 
Lamicellot hyte hym on the hode, 

The nexte way to gromide he chese : 
Was none so stiff agayne hym stode 

Ffiile thynne he made the thikkest prees*. 
Sir Lyonelle beganne to tene^ 

And hastely he made hym bowne*^. 
To Launcellott, with herte kene. 

He rode with helme and sword browne ; 

' ready. See Glossakt to the Ox- . " Perhaps t/eidf i. e. yield, 
ford editioB of Shakespeare, 1771. In ^ fierce. ^ agaiiist. ^ weened. 
<w. * sore. crowd. 

' hovered. * Sir Galaad's. ^ be troubled. *^ ready. 



40 THEHI6TORYOF 

Launcellott hitte nym as I wene, 

Throughe the lielme in to the crowne : 

That evyr after it was sene 

Bothe hors mid man there yod adoune. 

The knightis gadrid to gedir thare 
And gan with crafte, &c. 

I could give many more ample specimens of the romantic 
poems of these nameless minstrels, who probably flourished 
before or about the reign of Edward the Second**. But it 

^ Octatian is one of the romances MSS. BibL Adv. Edinb. W 4. I. 

mentioned in tlie Prol<mie to Cure de Num. xxiL 

Li^on, above cited. See ako vol. i. p. 123. [It is in this romance of Syr Bevys, 

In the Cotton manuscripts there is the that the knight passes over abridee, the 

metrical romance of Octavian imperator, arches of which are hung round with 

but it has nothing of the history of the small bells. Signat £ iv. This is an 

Roman emperors. Pr. <<Jhesu J^atwas oriental idea. In the Alcoran it is 

with spereystonge." Calig. A 12. f. 20. said, that one of the felicities in Maho- 

It is a very singular stanza. In Bishop met*s paradise, will be to listen to the 

More*8 manuscripts at Cambridge, there ravishing music of an infinite number 

is a poem with the same title, but a very of bells, hanging on the trees, which 

different beghming, viz. " Lytyll and wfll be put in motion by the wind pro- 

mykyll olde and younge.'* Bibl. Publ. ceeding from the throne of God. Ssde*s 

690. 30.— [This romance will be found Koran, Prelim. Disc. p. IOC In the 

in Mr. Weber's collection^ vol. iii. p. 157. enchanted horn, as we shall see hereafter, 

—Edit.]— The emperor Octavyen, per- in le Lai du Com, the rim of the horn 

haps the same, is mentioned in Chaucer's is hung round with a hundred bells of a 

J)reme,y. 368. Among Hatton*s manu- most musical sound.— Additions.] 

scripts in BibL Bodl. we have a French Sidracke was translated into English 

poem, Romaunce de Otheniem Evipereur verse by one Hugh Campden ; and 

de Rome* Hyper. Bodl. 4046. 21. printed, probably not long after it was 

In the same line of the aforesaid Pro- translated, at London, by Thomas GoA- 

logue, we have the romance of Un/, frey^atthecostof Dan Robert Saltwood, 

This is probalily the father of the cele- monk of -saint Austin's in Canterbury, 

brated Sir Ewaine or Yvain, mentioned 1510. Tliis piece therefore belongs to 

in the Court Mantell. Mem. Anc. Che- a lower period. I have seen only one 

vaL ii. p. 62. manuscriptcopy of it Laud^ G 57. fol. 

Y • • • « 1 . • membran. 

L; rois pns par la desire main ghaucer mentions, in Sir TofHo, 

h amiz monseignor Yvain ^ ^ ^^ J ^ 

Qui aU ROI Uri£N fu filz, « ni J t>- r l ' J «• 

^. , i. ^u J Sir Blandamoure, Str Libeaux, and jSir 

£t bons chevauers et hardiz, , ,. r^r^i. r i c J aw 

r% ' A A u' ^ • • Jjtjwtis, Of the former I find nothinir 

Qui tant ama chiens et oisiaux. J^i ^ ,, ^. ,. ^ _^ _. . «p 

^ more than the name occumng in Sir 

Specimens of the T^nglish St/r Bevys Libeaux. 

may be seen in Percy's Ball. iii. 216, [This ha'J been copied from Percy's 

217, 297. edit. 1767. And Observations Essay referred to below, the last edition 

on the Fairy Queen, § ii. p. 50. It is of which reads Blaundemere, while the 

extant in the black letter. It is in best MSS. of Chaucer read Pleinda- 

manuscript at Cambridge, Bibl. Publ. moure.^EDiT.1 

690. 30. And ColL Cau. A 9. 5. And To avoid prcilx repetitions from other 



ENGLISH POETRY. 41 

is neither my inclination nor intention to i^rite a catalogue, 
or ccHnpile a miscellany. It is not to be expected that this 
work should be a general repository of our antient poetry. 
I cannot however help observing, that English literature and 
Ejiglish poetry suffer, while so many pieces of this kind still 
remain concealed and forgotten in our manuscript libraries. 
They contain in common with the prose-romances, to most of 
which indeed they gave rise, amusing images of antient customs 
and institutions, not elsewhere to be found, or at least not 
otherwise so strikingly delineated : and they preserve pure and 
unmixed, those fables of chivalry which formed the taste and 
awakoied the imaginati(Hi of our elder English classics. The 
antiquaries of former times overlooked or rejected these valu- 
able remains, which they despised as false and frivolous; and 
employed their industry in reviving obscure fragments of up- 
. instructive morality or uninteresting history. But in the pre- 
sent age we are beginning to make ample amends : in which 
the curiosity of the antiquarian is connected with taste and 

works in the hands of all, I refer the And when the child of grete honour 

reader to Percy's Essay on antient me- Was come biforc the emperour, 

iricol Bomances, who has analysed the Upon his knees he him sette 

plan of Sir Libeaux, or Sur Libius Disco- The emperour fuU faire he grette : 

niuis at large, p. 17. See also p. 24. ibid. The emperour with milde chere 

As to Sir JjipoHSf an antient poem Askedehimwhethencehecomewere,&c. 

^"•J^-r'^ But » Chaucer ° XTTm^La'^'^X^ 
IS speaking of romances of chivalry, « * F O n ii 42 4'? 

which he means to "dicule, and this is ^"^^^ J^^ ^ ' ^ ' ^^^ g.^ 

\'?.?"*'S-X"»f' • T^y^AA^t Gawaine, one of Arthur's Champions, 

whether this IS the piede alluded toby .^ eclebmted in a separate romance. 

Chaucer. However, I will here exhibit ^ ^^^^^^,^ manuscripts, we have 

a spe^men of itfrom the exordium. ^^ ^^^^ , ,f sir Gawabl. Numb. 

M& Vernon, f. 296. ^5^ BibL Bodi. It iK^gins, « Be ye 

Her id ginnith a tretys blythe and Hsteneth to the lyf of a lorde 

That men cJe/ielh ypotis. riche.'* Dr. Percy has printed the Mar- 

Alkj that woUeth of wisdom lere, ^iage of Sir Gawaijne, which he believes 

Lusteneth now, and ze may here ; to have furnished Chaucer with his 

Ofatalcofholiwrit j^ifg of Bath, Ball. i. 11. It begins, 

Seynt John the evangelist witnesseth it i« fcing Arthur lives in merry Carlisle.** 

How hit bifelle in grete Rome, j think I have somewhere seen a ro- 

Hiecheef citeeof Cristendome, mance in verse entitled. The Ttirke 

A cfailde was sent of mihtes most, a^d Gawaine, — [This romance occurs in 

Thorow vertue of the holi gost : Bishop Percy's catalogue given from his 

The emperour of Rome than ^qHq m s, —Edit. ] 

His name was hoten sire Adrian ; 



42 THEHISTORYOF 

genius, and his researches tend to display the progress of hu- 
man manners, and to illustrate the history of society. 

As a further illustration of the general subject, and many 
particulars, of this section and the three last, I will add a new 
proof of the reverence in which such stories were held, and of 
the &miliarity with which they must have been known, by our 
ancestors* These &bles were not only perpetually repeated 
at their festivals, but were the constant objects of their eyes. 
The very walls of their apartments were clothed with romantic 
history. Tapestry was antiendy the fashionable furniture of our 
houses, and it was chiefly filled with Jivdy representations of 
this sort. The stories of the tapestry in the royal palaces ctf 
Henry the Eighth are still preserved*; which I wiU here give 
without reserve, including other subjects, as they happen to 

^ ** The secondc part of Uie Invento- glasse with imagery made c^ bone, 

rye of our late soTcreigne lord kyng Three payre of hawkes ^oves, with two 

Henrv the Eighth, conteynynge his lined with velvett. Three combe-cases 

guarm-obes, houshold-stuff, &c. &c.** of bone furnished. A night-cappe of 

MSS. Harl. 1419.. fol. The originaL blaqke velvett embrawdere£ Saxopson 

Compare vol. i. p. 118. and Wa]pole*s made in alablaster. A peece of unicome*s 

Anecd. Paint. L p. 10. home. Littelboxesinacaseof woode. 

[I make no apology for adding here Four littel cofires for jewels. A borne 

an account of the furniture of a Closet of ivone. A standin^e diall in a case 

at the old royal palace of Greenwich, in of copper. A home-gusse. £ight cases 

the reign of Henry the Eighth ; as it of trenchers. Forty foiyr dogs collars^ 

throws light on our general subject, by of sondrye makyngew Seven ^nt of 

giving a lively picture of the fashions, silke. A purse of ciymson satten for a 

arts, amusements, and modes of life> embrawdered wUh golde. Around 

which then prevailed. From the same painted table with th' ymageof a kinge. 

manuscript in the British Museum. A foldinge table of images. One payre 

'< A clocke. A glasse of Steele. Four of bedes [beads] of jasper gamyshcd with 

battell axes of wood. Two quivers with lether. One hundred and thirty eight 

arrowes. A painted table n* e. a pic- hawkes hoodes. A globe of paper. A 

ture]. A payre of ballance [balances], mappe made lyke a scryne. Two green 

with waights. A case of tynne with a boxes with wrou^tcorall in them. Two 

plot. In the window [a large bow- boxes covered with blacke vdvett. A 

window]^ a rounde mapp. A standinge reede tipt at both ends with golde, and 

glasse of Steele in ship.— >A branche of bolts for a turony bowe '• A cbaire of 

Aowres wrought upon wyre. Two payre joyned worke. An elle of synnamounde 

of playing tables of bone. A payre of [cinnamon] sticke tipt with sylyer. Three 

chcsmcn in a case of black lether. Two ridinge roddes for ladles, and a yard [rod] 

birds of Araby. A gonne [gun] upon of blake^ tipt with borne. Six walkyng 

a stocke wheeled, five paxes [cruci- staves, one covered with silke and goldq. 

fixes] of glasse and woode. A tablet of A blake satten-bag with ch^smen. A 

our ladic and saint Anne. A standinge table with a doth' [a picture] of saint 



Perhaps Tyrone ffT Ireland. 



ENGLISH rOETBY. 43 

occur, equally descriptive of the times. In the tapestry of the 
Tower of London^ the original and most antient seat of om* 
monarchs, there are redted Godfrey of Bulloign, the three 
kings of Cologn, the emperor CJonstantine, samt George, king 
Erkenwald^, the history of Hercules, Fame and Honour, the 
Trimnj^ erf" Divinity, Esther and Ahasuerus, Jupiter and Juno^ 
saint George, the eight Kings, the ten Kings of France, the Birth 
of our Lord, Duke Joshua, the riche history of king David, the 
seven Deadly Sins, the riche history of the Passicm, the Stem of 
Jesses, our Lady and Son, king SobmcHi, the Woman erf* Ca- 
nony, Meleager, and the Dance of Maccabre^ At Durham- 

George embrawdered. A case of fyne > This was a favourite subject for a 

canred work. A box with a bird of large goChic window. This subject also 

Aiaby. Two long cases of blacke lether composed a branch of candlesticks thence 

with pede^pees. A case of Irish arrows, called a jsssi, not unusual in the an- 

A table, with wordes, of Jhesus. A tar- tient chuvdies. In the year 1097, Hugo 

get Twenty-nine bowes." MSS. HarL de Ron, abbot of 8, Aust. Canterb. 

1412. foL 58. IntbeGAixxaTat.Green- bought for the choir of his church a 

wichy mentioa is made of a '< Mappe of great branch-candlestick. << Candela- 

England.'* Ibid. foL SS. And in brum magpium in choro aeneum quod 

Westminster-palace <'a Mappe of Hant- Jesse vocatur in partibus emit transma- 

shire." foL 133. A proof that the to- rinis." Thorn, Dec Script. coL 1796. 

pography of England was now s^died. About theyear 1330^ Adam de Sodbuiy, 

Among various hxads of Furniture, or abbot of Glastonbury, gave to his con* 

stores, at the cafgie of Windsor, such as vent *^ Uniun dorsale laneum le Jesse.** 

HoKvs, GrasELLss, Ha wees Hoods, . Hearn. Joan. Glaston, p. 265. That 

WxAPOirs, BucKiJEKs, Docw CoLLAxs, is, a piece of tf^iestry embroidered irith 

and AiouETTSS, Walkikg-staves are the stem of Jesse, to be hung round the 

specified. .Under thia last bead we bave^ ehoir, or other parts of the church, on 

** A Cane garnished with sylver and gilte, high festivals. He also gave a tapestrv 

with astronomie upon it A Cane gar^ of this subject for the abbot's hall. Ibid, 

nished with golde havinge a perfiune in And. I cannot help adding, what indeed 

the tc^pe, undce that a dudl, mth a paire is not immediately connected with the 

of twitcbers, and a paine of coikipasses of sutgect of this note, that be gave his 

golde and a foote reule of golde, a knife monastery, among oUier costly presents 

and the file, th' afte [the handle of the a g^^t dock, processionibus et speeta- 

knife] of golde with a whetstone tipped cidis insignitum, an organ of prodigious 

with gcdde, &&'* &iL 407.^Adi>itions.] size, and eleven bells, six for the tower 

^ So in Uie record. But he was the of the church, and five for the clock 

third bishop of St. Paul's, London, son tower. He also new vaulted the nave 

of king OffOf and a great benefactcnr to of the church, and adorned the new roof 

St. Pours diurch, in which he had a with beautiful paintings. Ibid, 

most superb shrine. He was canonised* '^ f. 6. In many churches of France 

Dugdsde, among many other curious there was an antient shew or mimicry, in 

particulars relatmg to bis shrine, stxys, which aU ranks of life were personated 

that in the year 1339 it was decorated by the ecclesiastics, who all danced 

anew, indieo three goldsmiths, two at the together, and disappeared one after an- 

wages of five shillings by the week, and other. It was called Dance Maccabre, 

one at eight, worked upon it for a whole and seems to have been often performed 

year. Hist. St Paul's, p. 21. Sec also in St. Ini^ocent*s at Paris, where was a 

p. 233. famous painting on thb subject, which 



4>t theMistoryof 

place we find the Citie of Ladies ^ the tapestrie of Tliebes and 
of Troy, the City of Peace, the Prodigal Son^, Esther, and 
other pieces of Scripture. At Windsor castle the siege of 
JeruBalem, Ahasuerus, Charlemagne, the siege of Troy, and 
hcnokitig and hunting^. At Nottingham castle, Amys and 
Amelion"*, At Woodstock manor, the tapestrie of Charle- 
magne". At the More, a palace in Hertfordshire, king 
ArSiur, Hercules, Astyages, and Cyrus* At Richmond, the 
arras of Sir Bevis, and Virtue and Vice fighting^. Many of 
these subjects are repeated at Westminster, Greenwich, O^tte- 
lands, Bedington in Surry, Mid other royal seats, some of 
which are now unknown as such p. Among the rest we have 
also Hannibal, Holofernes, Romulus and Remus, iEneas, and' 
Susannah \ I have mentioned romances written on many of 
these subjects, and shall mention others. In the romance of 
Syr Guy, that hero's combat with the dragon in Northumber- 
land is said to be represented in tapestry in Warwick castle. 

In Warwike the truth shall ye see 
In arras wrought fill craftely^ 

This piece of tapestry appears to have been in Wtrwick castle 
before the year 1398. It was then so distinguished and valued 

gave rise to Lydgate's poem under the who made the entry calls Theseus a 

same title. See Carpent. Suppl. Du saint. The seven Deadfy Sinst Le saint 

Cange, Lat. Gl. ii. p. 1103. More wiU Graal, Le graunt Utppis de NeufPreux, 

be said of it when we come to Lyd- Beyne d^IrkandiVXkdi Godfrey rfBuUoign, 

gate. Monum. Fr. iii. 64. The neuf jrreux 

* A &mous French aUegorical ro- are the Nine Worthies. Among the 

mance. stores of Henry the Eighth, taken as 

^ A picture on this favourite subject is above, we have, ** two oldstayned clothes 

mentioned in Shakespeare. And in Ran- of the ix worthies for the greate cham- 

doijiWs Muses Looking-glass* << In paint* ber,*^ at Newhall in Essex, f. S62. 

cd cloth the story of the Prodigal." These were pictures. Again, at the 

Dodsl. Old PL vi. 260. palace of Westminster in the little study 

. » f. 298. *" f. 364. called the Newe Librarye, which I be- 

** f. 318. ° f. 346. lieve was in Holbein*s elegant Gothic 

^ Some of the tapestry at Hampton- gatehouse lately demolished, there is, 
court, described in this inventory, is to *< Item, xii pictures of men on horse- 
be seen still in a fine old room, now re- backe of enamelled stufTe of the Nyne 
maining in its original state, called the Worthie8,and others upon squaretables.'* 
Exchequer. f. 188. MSS. HarL 1419. ut supr. 

** Mont&ucon, among the tapestry of ' Signat. Ca. 1. Some perhaps may 

Charles the FifUi, king of France, in think this circumstance an innovation or 

the year 1370, mentions, Le ta})j7is de la addition of later minstrels. A practice 

vie du saint Theseus, Here the officer not uncommon. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 45 

a piece of fomiture, that a special grant was made of it by king 
Richard the Second in that year, c(»iveying ^^ that snit of arras 
hangings in Warwick castle, which contained the story of the 
famous Guy earl of Warwick," together with the castle of 
Warwick, and other possessions, tolliomas Holland, earl of 
Kent*. And in the restoration of forfeited property to this 
lord ailer his imprisonment, these hangings are particulariy 
specified in the patent of king Henry the Fourth, dated 1399. 
When Margaret, daughter of king Henry the Sevendi, was 
married to James king of Scodand, in the year 1503, Holy- 
rood House at Edinburgh was splendidly decorated on that 
occasion; and we are told in an antient record, that the <^hang- 
Inge of the queenes grett chammer represented the ystory of 
Troye toune." Again, ^* the king's grett chammer had one 
table, wer was satt, hys chammerlayn, the grett sqyer, and 
many others, well served ; the which chammer was haunged 
about with the story of Hercules, together with other ystorys ^" 
And at the same solemnity, "in the hall wher the qwene's 
company wer satt in lyke as in the other, an wich was haunged 
of the history of Hercules, &c."" A stately chamber in the 
castle of Hesdin in Artois, was furnished by a duke of Bur- 
gundy with the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece, about 
the year 1468 ''. TTie affecting story of Coney's Heart, which 
gave rise to an old metrical English romance entitled, the 
Knight of Courtesy, and the Lady of Faguel, was woven 
in tapestry in Coucy castle in France ** I have seen an antient 
suite of arras, containing Ariosto's Orlando and Angelica, 
where, at every groupe, the story was all along illustrated with 

* Dugd. Bar. i. p. 237. his chansons and chivalry, but more so 
' Leknd. Coll. vol. iii. p. 295, 296. for his unfortunate love, which became 

OpuscuL edit. 1770. ** Ibid. proverbial in the old French romances. 

* See Obs. Fair. Qu. L p. 177. See Fauch. Rec p. 124. 12S. [The 

* HoweFs Letters, xx. § vl. B. i. Knight of Curtesy and the fafa: Lady of 
This is a true story, i^ut the year Faguel has been reprinted by Mr. Hit- 
118a Faucfaet relates it at large from son, vol. iii. p. 193. ITie hero of this 
an old authentic French chronicle ; and romance ivas Raoul de Coucy, and not 
then adds, ** Ainsi iinerint les amours Regnard as stated by Warton on the 
du Chastelain du Coud et de la dame authority of Fauchet. See Memoires 
de FaieL" Our Castellan, whose name Historiques sur Raoul de Coucy, Paris, 
is Regnard de Couci, was famous for 1781.— Enrr.] 



46 THEHISrORYOF 

short rhjrmes in romance or old French. Spenser sometunes 
dresses the superb bowers of his fairy castles with this sort of 
historical drapery. In Hawes's Poem called the Pastime op 
Pleasure, written in the reign of Henry the Seventh, of which 
due notice will be taken in its proper place, the hero ofi the 
piece sees all his future adventures displayed at large in the 
sumptuous tapestry of the hall of a castle. I have before men- 
tioned the most valuable and perhaps most antlent work of 
this sort now existing, the entire series of duke WilMam's de- 
scent on England, preserved in the churdi of Bayeux in Nor- 
mandy, and intended as an ornament of the choir on high fes- 
tivals. Bartholinus relates, that it was an art much cultivated 
among the antient Islanders, to weave the histories of their 
giants and champions in tapestry y. The same thing is re- 
corded of the old Persians; and this furniture is still in high 
request among many Oriental nations, particularly in Japan and 
China 2. It is well known, that to frame pictures of heroic 
adventures in needle-work, was a &vourite practice of classical 
antiquity. 

y Andquit. Dan. lib. L 9. p. 51. wrought by the most skilful artificers of 

* In the royal XMilace of JedJo, which that country, and adorned with pearls, 

overflows with a profusion of the most gold, and silver. Mod. Univ. Hist B 

exquisite and superb eastern embellish- xiii. c. ii. vol. ix. p. 83. (Not. G.)edit. 

ments, the tapestry of the emperor*s 1759. 

audienceJiaU is of the finest silk. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 47 



SECTION VI. 



Although much poetry began to be written about tlie 
reign of Edward the Second, yet I have found only one En- 
glish poet of that reign whose name has descended to poste- 
rity*. This is Adam Davy or Davie. He may be placed 
about the year 1312. I can collect no circumstances of his 
life, but that he was marshall of Stratford-le-bow near Lon- 
don**. He has left several poems never printed, which are 
almost as forgotten as his name. Only one manuscript of 
these pieces now remains, which seems to be coeval with its 
author^. They are Visions, The Battell of Jerusalem, 
The Legend of Saint Alexius, Scripture histories, of 
fifteen toknes before the day of Judgement, Lamen- 
tations of Souls, and The Life of Alexander*^. 

In the Visions, which are of the religious kind, Adam Davie 
draws this picture of Edward the Second standing before die 
shrine of Edward the Confessor in Westminster abbey at his 
coronation. The lines have a strength arising from simplicity. 

To our Lorde Jeshu Crist in heven 
Iche to day shawe myne sweven^. 
That iche motte*^ in one nycht. 
Of a knycht of mychel mycht: 

^ Robert de Brunne, above mention- of the holi land. f. 65.'~^6. It b^ns : 

ed, lived, and perhaps wrote some of his ** Qwerr soever a cros standjrth ther is a 

pieces, in this reign ; but he more pro- forj^ivenes of payne/' I think it is a 

perly belongs to the Uist. description of the holy places, and it 

^ Thh wiU appear from citations appears at least to be c^ the hand-writ- 

which follow. ing of the rest. 

"^ MS& BibL Bodl. Laud. I 74. fol. « dream, 

membran. It has been much damaged, ^thought, dreamed.. In the first 

and on that account is often illegible. sense, we have me metle in Chaucer, 

' In the manuscript there is also a Non. Pr. T. v. 1013. Urr. And below, 
piece in prose^ entitled, The Pylgrymages 



48 THEHISTORYOP 

His name is yhote^ syr Edward the kyng, 
Prince of Wales Engelonde the fair thynge; 
Me mott that he was armid wele, 
Bothe with yme and with stele, 
And on his helme that was of stel, 
A coroune of gold bicom him wel. 
Bifore the shrine of Seint Edward he stood, 
Myd glad chere and myld of mood \ 

Most of these Visions are compliments to the king. Our poet 
then proceeds thus : 

Another suevene me mette on a twefoit** 

Bifore the fest of Alhalewen of that ilke knigt. 

His name is nempned^ hure bifore, 

Blissed be the time that he was bore, &c. 

Of Syr Edward oure derworth ^ kjmg 

Iche mette of him anothere faire metyng, &c* 

Me thought he wod upon an asse. 

And that ich take God to witnesse ; 

A wondur he was in a mantell gray. 

Toward Rome he nom" his way, 

Upon his hevede sate a gray hure, 

It semed him wel a mesure; 

He wood withouten hose and sho. 

His wonen was not so to do ; 

His shankes semeden al bloodrede, 

Myne herte wop° for grete drede; 

As a pylgrym he rood to Rome, 

And thider he com wel swithe sone. 

The thrid suevene me mette a nigt 

Rigt of that derworth knight : 

On Wednysday a nigt it was 

Next the dai of seint Lucie bifore Christenmasse, &c. 

Me thougth that ich was at Rome, 

And thider iche come swithe sone, 

« named. *» fol. 27. ^ named. i dear-worthy. 

* twelfth-night. "■ took. " wept. 



f 



fiNGXISH POETRY. 49 

The pope aiu) syr Edward our kyng 

Bothe hy^ hadde a new dublyng, &c. 

Thus Crist fill of grace 

Graunte our kyng in every place 

Maistrie of his witherwines 

And of al wicked Sarasynes. 

Me met a suevene one worthigP a nigth 

Of that ilche derworthi knigth, 

God iche it shewe and to witnesse take 

And so shilde me fro^ &C. 

Into a chapel I cum of yre lefdyS 

Jhe Crist her leve' son stod by, 

On rod* he was an loveliche mon, 

Al thilke that on rode was don 

He unneled^ his honden two^ &c* 

Adam the marchal of Strattford atte Bowe 

Wei swithe wide his name is iknowe 

He himself mette this metyng, 

To witnesse he taketh Jhu hevene kyng^ 

On wedenyssday** in clene leinte*' 

A voyce me bede I schulde nougt feinte^ 

Of the suevenes that her ben write 

I shulde swithe don' my lord Iqmg to wite. 

The thursday next the beryngy of our lefdy 

Me thougth an aungel«com syr Edward by, &c* 

Iche teU you forsoth withoutten les ', 

Als God of hevene maade Marie to moder ches% 

The aungell com to me Adam Davie and seide 

Bot XhouAdam shewe this thee worthe wel yvel mede, &C. 

Whoso wil speke myd me Adam the marchal 

In Stretforde bowe he is yknown and over al, 

Iche ne schewe nougt this for to have mede 

Bot for God almigtties drede. 

** they. P wor])!^. Oriff. ' make hasten [Switbe don to wite^ , 

*]ady. 'dear. 'o^oss. quicMtf let him Itmvh'^Bjssov,^ 

' unnailed. y ChrisCmase-day. * lies. 

■ Wodems day. Woden*i day. Wed- * <' As suve as God chose the \vtfjjBk 

^^t9day, ^ Lent. Mary to be Christ's mother,'' 

VOL. II. t, 



¥ 



^Q THEHISTORYOF 

There is a very old pyps^ romigice^ both in French and 
Italian, on the su^ect of tb(^ jp^stru^km qf Jerusalem^. It is 
translated from a Latin work, in five l^Qoks, v^ry popular in .• 
the middle ages, entitled, {lEG^fiippi 4e BeUo tkdaim et J^x>^'^ 
cidio Urbis Hierosolymitanai Xjify^ qui^que^. This is. a licen- 
tious paraphrase of a part pf Jpsep^us's Jeiyish history, made 
about the fourth century : and the n^Pi^ H^esippus is most 
probably corrupted from Joseplms, perhaps also called Josip- 
pus. The parapbrast ia supposed to be Ambrose of Milan, 
who flourished in the reign of 'Pieodpsius*^. On the subject 
of Vespasian's siege of JearusakiQ) as relat^- in this b(>ok, our 
poet Adam Davie has left 9 poem entitled the Baxxell of 
Jerusalem^. It begins thus/ ' > 

Listeneth all that beth alyve, 
Both cristen men arid wyve : 
I wol you telle of a wondur c£^ . 
How Jhesu Crist bihated was, 
Of the Jewes. felle aqd ken^ 
That was on him sithe ysene, 
Gospelles I. drawe to i^tnesse 
Of this matter more or lesse, 8^c.* 

In the course of the story, Pilate challenges our Lord to single * 
combat This subject wiU ocdur agfdn. 

^ In an aniient inventory (^ |)ook8, all ^ ^ Qe . mentions Constftntliiople and 

French romances, made in England in New Rome : and th^ provinces of Scotia 

the reign^of Sc^rard the Thirds 1 find' and Sakonla. From this work the Mac- 

the romance of Titus and Y^spasiait. cabe«i seem to have fgplt in^ romance. 

Madox, FonhuL Anglican, p. l2l' See It was first printed at Paris. foL 1511. 

al90 Sdpio MifiU's l^ttdtt^ri ItEdiani; Among t^ JSodlieian manuseripts there 

r48. Cresdmbeni (Volg. l^oes. vqL i; is a most beautiful caoj^ of this book, 

5. p. 317.) d^tiOtseemiohaVetnoWtf bdievt^ to bb Written In the Saxon tunes, 

of tins romande in I^aliifai. Pu Qaii^ ^ Hne latter.part of Uils poena appears 

mentions Le ^Roman de la Prise de Jeru^ detached, in a former part of our manu- 

ioiempar TUuSfixi Verse. *G16s6. laL i. sb^ with the dtl^ Tor Vxnoxaunce 

Imd. Auct. p. cxdv. A metrical to- of Gonnxs Dbat|^ viz. f. 22. b. Hiis 

mance on tins sutrject is in the royal latter part begins with' these fines. 

^iX^'^i,^:^^^. .Up,nthen»»„t<rfolyve.,.&c. ' 
Tb^t. p. 134. * MS. ut supr. f. 72. b. 



^ENGLISH POETRY. 51 

Davie's Legend of saint Alexiuis the confessor, son 
OF EupHEMius, is translated from Latin, and begins thus: 

All that wiUen here in ryme, 
Howe gode men in olde tyme, 

Loveden God almigth ; 
That weren riche, of grete valoure, 
Kynges sones and emperoure 

Of bodies strong and ligth ; 
2iee habbeth yherde ofte in geste, .' 
Of holi men maken feste 

Both day and nigth, 
For to have the joye in hevene 
(With atn^Ils song, and merry stevene,) 

The which is brode and brigth : 
To you all heige and lo^e 
The rigth sothe to biknowe 

Zour souks for to sav^ &c. ^ 

Oat author's scripture histories want the bediming. 
Here they begin with Joseph, and end with Daniel. 

FfOT thritti pens^ thei sold that childe 

The seller higth Judas, 
Itho^ Ruben com him and myssed him 

Ffor ynow he was. * 

His FIPtEEN TOKNES ^ BEFORE THE DAT OF JUDGMENT, are 

taken from the prophet Jeremiah. 

*5ie firsit signe thar ageins, as our lord hymsdfe sede, 
Hungere schal on erthe be, trecherie, and falshede, 
Batteles, and littell love, sekenesse and haterede. 
And the erthe schal quaken that vchfe man schal ydrede : 
The mone schal turne to blood, the sunne to derkhede, &c. ' 

Another of Davie's poems may be called the LAMENTATidN 
OF SouiiS. But the subject is properly a congratiihttiori of 

' MS* utmipr. f. 22.-72. b. 'MS. ut supr. f. 66.-72. b. 

• thirty pence. •» Ifo. Otig. ^ tokens. » MS. ut supr. f. 71. b; 

E2 



52 THEHISTORYOF 

Christ's advent, and the lamentation, of the soufs of the &thers 
remaining in limbo, for his delay. 

Off joye and blisse is my song care to bileve™. 
And to here hym among that altom* soroug shal reve, 
Ycome he is that swete dewe, that swete hony drope^ 
The kyng of alle kynges to whom is our hope : 
Becom he is our brother, whar was he so long? 
He it is and no other, that bougth us so strong: 
Our brother we mowe^ hym clepe wel, so seith hymself 
ilome®. 

My readers will be perhaps surprised to find our language 
improve so slowly, and will probably think, that Adam Davie 
writes in a less intelligible phrase than many more antient bards 
already cited*. His obscurity, however, arises in great mea^ 
sure from obsolete spelling, a mark of antiquity which I have 
here observed in exact conformity to a manuscript of the age 
of Edward the Second; and which in the poetry of his prede- 

"* leave. " may. * [Mr. CampbeU has observed upon 

® sometixnes. MS. ut supr. f. 73. [By this passage : « Warton anticipates the 

an error of the press in the former edi- surprize of his reader in finding the £n- 

tion, the reference to the note was af- ghah language improve so slowly when 

fixed to the word ** wel ;** tuad though we reach the verses of Davie. The his- 

Warton in his Additions had pointed torian of our poetry had in a former 

out the mistake, yet the candour of Mr* section treated of Robert De Brunne as 

Bltson fastened on the original reading a writer anterior to Davie ; but as the 

and exposed it as a voluntary and ig- latter part of De Brunne's Chronicle 

norant blunder. Could this gentleman was not finished till ISSQ, in the reign 

have condescended to be just, or to con^ of Edward III., it would be surprizing 

fide in an interpretation furnished him indeed if the language should seem to 

by Warton, he might have avoided the improve when we go back to the reign 

erroneous explanation given of ** ylome *' of Edward II. ** Essay on English Poe- 

in the Glossary to his Metrical Romances, try, p. 57.— In this the usual accuracy 

or at any rate have obtained a closer and candour of Mr. Campbell appear*^ 

approximation to the true meaning than have forsaken him. The obsienration m 

his own knowledge supplied hiih with. the text is far ^m bang a general one, 

Ure ship flet forth yhmeg *^^ might have been interpreted to the 

which the Glossary renders to«6^. It is e«limon of De Brumje. That such 

the Anglo-Saxon Vlome,^^, fre- was Warton s intention is obvious from 

qneater, cantinuiter. In the Ctoonicle !^ ' P' f '. ^^^, *»« fff?^" °^ ^ 

rf England we have, .^"°« as hvmg, and protobly compos- 

. f , « 7 . - * .1 "*K some of his pieces, dunng the reign 

AndyettheEnglescheo/feilome; ofEdwardll. A date (1 SOS) recorded 

where «ofte" appears to.be a gloss which in his translation of the Manuel de 

has found its way into'tfie text " Oft Pechees, was the cause of hisbeing classed 

and gelome ** is Uie language of Cied- among the writers of the preceding reign. 

mon.-i*EDiT.] —Eon.] 



ENGLISH POETRY. 53 

cessors, especially the minstrel-pieces, has been often effaced 
by multiplication of copies, and other causes. In the mean 
time it should be remarked, that the capricious peculiarities 
and even ignorance of transcribers, often occasion an obscurity, 
which is not to be imputed either to the author or his age^. 

But Davie's capital poem is the Life of Alexander, which 
deserves to be published entire on many accounts. It seems 
to be founded chiefly on Simeon S^th's romance above men- 
tioned; but many passages are also copied from the French 
Roman d' Alexandre, a poem in our author's age perhaps 
equally popular both in England and France. It is a work of 
considerable length ^ I will ^st give some extracts from the 
Prologue. 

Divers is this myddel erde 

To lewed men and to lerid*, &c, 

Notheles, fid feole and fille 

Beoth y-founde in heorte and wille 

That hadde levere a ribaudye 

Than to here of God, other of seynte Marie ; 

Other to drynke a coppe fill of ale, 

Than to here ony god tale : 

Soche Y wolde were oute-bishett j 

For sikerliche, hit weore nede. 

For they no haveth no joye, y wot wele 

Bote in the gutte and the barell. ^ 

^ Chaucer in Tboilvs ak^ Cressd)a I( hi^ siqce (loeQ published from a 
mentions <<the grete diversite in En- transcript of the Lincoln*s-Inn MS. 
^ish, and in writiar^<fo^Unigue*'* He made by Mr. Park, and forms the first 
therefore prays Go^ that no person volume in Mr. Weber's collection. In 
would muimfe, or mme-fnetre his poem, deference to the opinions of these gen- 
lib, ult. ▼• 1792. seq. tlemen-^ppinions sanctioned as it would 
^ ' [In attributing this romance to Da^ seem oy the approbation of Mr. Douce 
vie, Warton has roUow^ the authority and Mr. ^Ulis— the text has been sup- 
of Tanner, who was probably led into plied firom the printed copy, though the 
the mistake by finding it bound up with Editor^s private judgment is d^dedly 
the remaining works of this " poetic in favour of the Bodleian vergionf 
iiifurafaaU."V^e are indebted to Mr. Ellis Edit.] 
for detecting— upon the force of internal ' Leg. lerd. learned, 
evidence—mis misappropriation of a ^ The work b^^s thus, 
very spirited con^osition to the insipid V^hilem cferkes wel y|erid 
•athor of the Legend of Saint Aleziu% Faire y-dyght tl^is myddel ^rde, 



5* THEHISTOEYOF 

Adam Davie thus describes a splendid procession made by 
Olympias. 

^ In this tymefeire andjolif" 
Olimpias, that faire wi^ 
Wolde make a riche feste 
Of knightis and ladies honeste. 
Of bm'geys and of jugoleris 
Arid of men of eche mesteris^ 
For mon seith by north and south , 
Wimmen beth, ever selcouth; 
Muche they desirith to schewe heore body 
Heore faire heir, heore fair rody, 
To have los^ and praisyng: 
Al hit is folie by hevene kyng^! 
So dude dame Olimpias 
To schewe hire gentU face. 
Scheo hette marchal, and knyghtis 
Greythen heom to ryde anon ryghtis. 
And ladies and demoselis 
Maken heom redy^ a thousand delis, 
In faire atire, in divers coyntise 
Monye ther riden.in riche wise. 
A muyle, al so whit as mylk 
With sadel of gold, semely of selk 
Was y-brought to theo queue 
With mony bellis of selver schene 
Y-fastened on orfreys* of mounde 
That hongen adoun to theo grounde. 
Forth thei ferden^ with heore roit^ 
A thousand ladies of o swte* 

And clepid hit in here maistrie, " joUy. 

Europe, Afiryke, and Asyghe : ^ of each, or eveiy, profession, ta^df^ 

At Asyghe al so mtichul ys sort 

As Europe, and Affiyk, I wis, &Ct ^ praise. 

And ends with this diMich. . ' ^"l^*w '"*' '^°* "^ *°'*^ 



Alisaunder ! me reowith thyn endyng ^ Tared : went. 

That thou n*adest dyghed in cristenyng. 



El^GLISH ^OETKY. 55 

A speruer ' that was hbneste 
So was at theo ladies feste : 
Fcmr trum{>es to-^fore^ hire bleow 
Mony man that day hire kneow : 
An hundred and wel mo 
Alle abowed hire to* 
Al thes tomj y-honged was** 
Ageynes^ theo lady 01unpias.<» 
Orgies, tymbres, al maner gleo ^ 
Was dr3^en ageyn that lady fireo. 
Withoute theo tomi was mury : 
Was reised ther al maner pley ^; 
There was knyghtis tumyng 
There was maidenes carolying 
There was champions skyrmyng^, 
Of heom and of other wrasdyng 
Of liomis chas, of beore baityng^ 
And bay of bor^ of bole slatyng^ 
Al theo city was by-hong 
Of riche baudekyns and pellis ^ among 
Dame Olimpias among this pres' 
Sengle rod™, al mantul-les. — 
Hire yolowe heir" was fair atyred 
With ryche strynges of gold wyred 
And wryen hire abouten al** 
To hire gentil myddel smal 

* spkmnr-hawk; a hawk. * before, the city is hanged with doth of gold* 

••"hung with tap^stiy." We find v. 257a Urr. ,,,..., 

this ceanm6tif practised at the entrance * " organs, tunbrelsy all manner of 

<lf lady Elisabeth, queen of Henry the music.'* 
SevenA, intb the dty of London.— «< Al * " all sorts of sports.*** 
the strettf tiier whfche she shulde passe. ' skirmishing, 
by wer clenly dressed and besene with, ^ "baying or bayting^of the boair.** 
doth, of tappesti^e and arras, and some * daymg buUs, bull^feasts. jChaucer 

streetes ab Chepe, hanged with riche says that tfie cluapbqr of. Venus waa 

clothes of gblde, Telvettes and silkes.** painted linth "white 6o^grete.*' CompL 

This was in the year 14^1. Leland. of Mwsand Ven. ▼• 86^.i , : . . 
ColLiy. Opuscul. p. 22a edit 177a ^ skins. ,, > croua; company. 

^ "agunst her coming.** ^ rode singlcL 

^ See the' description of the ^urna- ^ yellow hair. , 

meat in Chaucer, Knight* t Tale, where ** " covercJi Ver all OYer."" 



S6 THE HISTORY OF 

Bryght and &ir was hire face ^ 
Uche maner fidred^ in hire was% 

Much in the same strain the marriage of Cleopatras is de- 

scnbed* 

Tho this inessage was horn y-come 

Ther was mony blithe gome 

With rose and swete flores 

Was strawed halles and bouris 5 

With samytes and baudekyns 

Weore cortined the gardynes. 

Alle the innes of the toi^i 

Haddyn litel foisoun*. 

That day cam Clorpatras ; 

So mucle people with hire was. 

Upon a mule, whjrt so mylk ; 

Hire hameys gold beten with selk. 

The prynce hire ladde of Sandas, 

And of Cydoyne sire Jonatas, 

Ten thousand barouns hire come myde, 

And to chirche they ryden. 

Spoused scheo is and set on deys : 

Now ginnith the geste of noblfe : 

' line 155* The joye that the citie made. 

^ beauty. With fresh thinges and ynih glade 

' John Gower, who lired an hundred The noble towne was al befaonged ; 

years after our author, has described the And everie wight was son alonged 

sasne procession. Confess. Amant To see this lustie ladie ryde. 

lib. yU raL 137. a. b. edit. BertfaeL 1554. There was great mirth on al syde, 

-,__^ , ^, . .* When as she passed by the streate 

^ m that dtee th^ was j^^^ ^„ ^1 ^^^j a tyn*re bcate^ 

The qu^e, whlrihe Otapias j^^ ,^ ^ maide cardende. 

Was bote, wid with solempnitee ^a thus throughout the town plaiende 

A . tS u *" ^^^ J This queue unto the plaiene rode 

As It befj^ was than hold ; -^^ar that she hoved and abode 

And for bi^ lust to be behold, ^o se diven games plaie, 

And preised of the jgwple about, ^^ ^^^ foSejust and tomaye. 

She^ hu- fen- to ridenout. An so couth eve?y other man 

Al aftnr meet al opinly. y^^^ pl^y ^^^ y^ ^^^ y^^^ 

Anon iri men were redie ; j^, j^^ ^^ this noble queen. 

And that w«9 in the month of Mate; r . n. 

IhSa lustj quene in gode araie Gower continues this story, from a ro- 

Was sette upon a mme white mance mentioned above, to foL 140. 

To aene it was a grete deUte * provisioii* 



ENGLISH POETRY. 5^ 

At theo feste was truinpyng) 
Pipyng and eke taboryng, 
Sytolyng and ek harpyng^ 

We have frequent opportunities of observing, how the poets 
of these times engraft the manners of chivalry on antient clas- 
sical history. In the following lines Alexander's education is 
like that of Sir Tristram, He is taught tilting, hunting, and 
hawking. 

Now con AUsaundre of skyrmyng. 
And of stedes disrayng, 
Andofsweordistumyng, 
Apon stede, apon justyng, 
And *sailyng, of defendyng 
In grene wode of huntyng 
And of reveryng gnd of haukyng" : 
Of batail and of al thyng, 

hi another place Alexander is mounted on a steed of Nar- 
bone*; and amid the solemnities of a great feast, rides through 
the hall to the high table. This was no uncommon practice 
h the ages of chivalry^. 

He leop up, and hadde soon doon, 
Apon a stede of fairebon; (Narabone) 
He rod forth upon the lond 
Theo riche croune in his bond, 
Of Nicholas that he wan : 
Byside rid^th a gentil man. 

* Kne 1023. Chaucer, FranJ^ru Tale, v. 1 752. p. U 1» 

' Chaucer, R, of Sir Tbop. v. 3245. Urr. edit' 

Uny 8 edit p/ 145, These fiiuconers upon a faire rivcre 

Hecouth hunt al the wfld ^bre, Th** ^* t^e hawkis ban the heron 

And ride an hawkyng by the Hvere. slaine. 

Aiwi s«*i.«f ^»-j . * [The Lincoln's Inn MS. reads 

^^AeSp^fhw degree, supr. .. ^ ^„^.. ^^ j^ p„^,y ^ 

^ correcter version.— Edit.] 

■ Shall ye ryde ^ SeeObservationsontheFairyQneen^ 

On hawkyng by the river syde* i. § v. p. 146. 



58 THEHISTORYOP 

To the paleis they gonne ride 
And fond this feste in all pruyde 
Forth goth Alisaundre, satm &ble 
Ryght to theo heygh table* "^ 

His horse Bucephalus, who even in classical fiction is a horse 
of romance, is thus described* 

An horn the fof hed aihydward 
That wolde perce scheldis hard. 

To which these lines may be added* 

Alisaundre arisen is 

And sittith on his hygh deys 

His duykes and his barouns saun doute 

Stondith and sittith him aboutie.^ 

The two following extracts are in a softer strain, and not 
inelegant for the rude dmplicity of the times. 

Mury is the blast of the styvour ^ 

Miiry is the twyiikelyng of the harpour* ; 

Swote is the smeol of iSour 

Swete hit is in maidenes hour 

Appeol swote berith &ire colour 

In treowe love is swote amour** 

Again, 

In tyme of May, the nyghtyngale 
In wode makith iftiry gale ; 

^ line 1075. ' line 3966. Here, by the way, it appean, that the 

y I cannot explain this word. It is a minstarels and juglers were di^inct ch»- 

wind-instniment. racters. So Robert de Brunne, in de- 

* This poem has likewise, in the same scribing the coronation of king^ Arthur, 

Tcin, the following well-known old apud Anstis, Ord. Gart i p. 304* 

rhym^ which ^te Ae manners, and ^ ^^ 

» perhaps the true leading, hne 1163. iC^ queitise for the drouh, 

Swifhe miiry hit is in halle MynstreU many with dyrers g^w, &c 

When the burdes wawen aUe* * j ^^ .**.,•■ 

^ , . . , , ^ And Chaucer mentions **mmstrels and 

And m another place we have, efc jogHmrs." Rcmi. R. v. 764. But 

Mury hit is in halle to here the harpe ; they are often confounded or made the 

The mynstrall syngith, theo jogolour same. 

carpith..— 1. 5990. * line 2571. 



So doth the foules grefyd aad anottle 
Som on huUe, som oot <fete«^ 

Much the same vernal delights^ cloathed in a similkr style, 
with the additicm of knights tumeying, and maidbns dancing, 
invite king Philip on a progress ;- who is ^tertained on the 
road with hearing tales of ancient heroes. 

Mery time it i3 in May 
The foules syngetb.her l^y; 
The knighttes loueA tb0;UHtiiiy 
Maydens so d^iidcisn and> th»y play. 
The kyng forth ridetiihi&JQurmiy 
Now hereth g(^ of gi^tQ.no|;>Uiyi^ 

Our author thus describes a battle. ** 

Alisaundre to-fore is ryde 
And mony gentil kny^ht him myde 
Ac, for to abide his mai^e freo 
^ He abideth undura treo. 
xL thousand chivalrie 
He heom taketh in his bataile. 
He dasscheth forth overward 
Theo othres comen^aftt^rward: 
He soughte his knyg|i|^s in mischef 
He tok hit in heorte agref. 
He tok Bulsiial^ in the syde; 
As a swalewe he cq^ forth gUde. 
A duyk of Perce sone he mette 
With his launce he him ^ette ; 
He perced his bnmy and clewyd his schi^Id, , 
Theo heorte he carf; so he him yeilded: 
Theo duyk feol doun tQ the grounde 
He starf quykUcheiof that wounde. 
Alisaundre tho aloud said.e. 
Other tole nane Y payd : 

* line 2546. • line 5210. ^ line S776. * Bueephalus. 



60 THE HISTORY OF 

Yut ye schole^ of myn paye 

Or Y go hennes, more asay ! 

Anotibir launce in honde he hent ; 

AgeyBs the Prynce of Tyre he went, 

And smot him thorugh the breste thare 

And out of his sfadel him bare ; 

And y sey, for soth thyng 

He brak his lamice in thei fallyng. 

Octiater, with muche wondur 

Antiochim hadde him undm*, 

With his sweprd he wolde his heved 

Fro the body have y-weved. 

He sygh Alisaundre the gode gome 

To him wardes swithe come 

He left his pray and fleygh to hors 

For to save hi^ owne cors. 

Antiocus on stede he leop 

Of no wounde tok he kep ; 

And eke he hadde y-mad iurford 

AUe y-mad with speris ord*^. 

Tholomeus and his felawe^ 

Of this socoiilre weore fill fewe. 

Alisaundre made a cry hardy 

Ore tosty ore tosff aly ! aly ! 

There knyghtis of Akaye 

Justed with heom of Arabye ; 

Tho** of Rome, and heo of Mede 

Mony Ipnd with othir yeode 

Egipi|;e lusted with Tire 

3iniple knyghtis with riche sire ; 

There was yeve no forberyng ; 

Bytwepne &vasour^ and kyng, 

To-fore, me myghte, and by hynde 

Contek^ seche and contek fynde. 

' point. ^ they. ^ strifct 

' felloiVB. * servant ; subject. 



ENGLISH POEtTRY* 61 



With Perciens fou^te Egr^;ies' ; 
Ther ros cry, and gret noyse. 
They kydde™ there they nere nyce 
They braken speres to sdyces : 
Me myght fynde knyghtis there^ 
Mony on lost his justere : 
There was sone in litel thrawe% 
Many gentil knyght y-skwe ; 
Mony arm, mony hed^', 
Was sone fro the body weved : 
Mony gentil levedyP 
There les hire amy** : 
There was mony mon killed 
And mony fidr pencel by bled^ 
There was sweord lakkyng* 
There was spere bathyng^ 
Bothe kynges there, saun doute 
Beoth y-beten, with al heore rowte ; 
Hie on to don men of him speke 
The other his harmes for to wrekew 
Mony londes nygh and feor* 
Losten heore lordes in that weorre. 
The eorthe quakid of hir rydyng 
The weder** thicked of heore cryeng 
Tlieo blod of heom that was skwen 
Ran by flodis and by lauen, &c. 

I have already mentioned Alexander's miractdous hom^« 
He blew his horn, saun doute 
His folk come swithe aboute : 

' Gredu. " thought [shewed]* import from that gjven by Mr. Wd^ : 

' short time. ^ head. sweord-kc A. S. gladiorum ludai» from 

'lady. ^paramour. laean, toplay.— Eorr.] 

' ''many a rich banner, or flag, sprin- ^ MS. baj^ing. I do not understand 

^ with blood." the word. ° weather, sky. 

'dashing. ["Lakkyng seems to mean * [It is most probable that Warton 

Jtcinif (blood) as the poet speaks of spears interpreted this passage of Alexander's 

bathingmblood. Wxbbb."— This phrase horn : Mr. Weber certainly has ; though 

u one of frequent occurrence in Anglo- the context plainly shews that it was I)»- 

"*Kon poetry, and bears a very different rius who blew it.— Enrr. ] 



^ THEHISTORYOr 

And he heom saide with voys dere^ 

" Y bidde, fireondes, ye me here ! 

Alisaundrei8 3M:«nemthi»I«»d 

With stronge knj^hdS) «ild ix^gfatf of hcmd**^ 

Alexander's adventures in the ^Jeserts among the Gymno- 
sophists, and in Inde, are not omitted. The authofs whom 
he quotes for his vouchers, shew the readilig and ideas of the 
times.'' 

Thoo Alisaundre went thorough desert 
Many wondres he seigh apert* 
Whiche he dude wel descryve 
By goodclerkes in her lyve 
By Aristotle his maister that was 
Better clerk sithen non nas. 
He was with hym and seigh and wroot 
Alle thise wondres, (god it woot) 
Salomon that al the werlde thorough yede 
In sooth witnesse helde hym myde. 
Ysidre^ also, that was so wys 
In his bokes telleth this. 
Maister Eustroge bereth hym witnesse 
Of the wondres more and lesse. 
Seynt Jerome, yee shullen y-wy te 
Hem hath also in book y-wryte ; 
And Magestene^ the gode clerk 
Hath made therof mychel werk. 
penys that was of godie memorie 
It sheweth al in his book of stbriie; 
And also Pompie 2* of Rome lorde. 
Dude it writen every worde. 
Bebeldeth me therof no fynder ^ ; 
HIbt bokes- ben ray shewer 

^lniei4772.. 'sawoiieDly. * He means Justin's Trogiis Pom- 

^ Imdorei He means, I suppose, Isi* peius tbe historian, whom he confcrands 

dofusHiipalensis, a Latin writer (^ the witb Pompey the Great 

sefenth century. * '< donH look on me as the iiiveittor. *' 



EKGLI8H POETRY. 6S 

And the lyf of Alysaunder 

Of whom fleigh so riche sklannder. 

Yif yee willetfi yive listnyng 

Now yee shullen h&ce gode thing. 

In somers tyde th^ day is long ; 

Fonles syngeth and maketh song 

KyngAlisaundery-wentis, 

With dukes, erles, and ftdk c^pris, 

With many knighth and doughtty man, 

Toward the cit6 of Facen ; 

After kyng Poms that fioweh^ was 

Into the cit6 of Bandas : 

He wolde wende thoiough desert 

Thise yronders to seen apert. 

Gyoures he name ^ of the londe 

Fyve thousande I miderstonde 

That hem shulden lede ryth**, 

Thorough desert by day and njrth. 

The gyoures lovedcQ the kyng noughth 

And wolden have hym bycaughth : 

Hy ledden hym thorfore als I fynde 

In the straungest peryl of Ynde. 

Ac, so ich fynde in the book 

Hy were asshreynt in her crook. 

Now rideth Alisaunder with his ost, 

With mychel pryde and mychel boost ; 

Ac ar hy comen to castel, oither toun 

Hy shullen speken another lessoun. 

Lordynges, also I fynde 

At Mede so bigynneth Ynde : 

Forsothe ich woot, it stretcheth ferrest, 

Of alle the londes iti the est, 

And oth the south half sikerlyk 

To tjie cee taketh of Aflfryk; 

And the north half to a mountayne. 

That is yeleped Caucasyne*. 

' fled. '^ took. ^ strait. * Caucasus. 



64 THEHISTORYOF 

Forsothe yee shuUen understonde 

Twyes is somer in the londe 

And never more wynter ne chalen^* 

That londe is fid of al wele; 

Twyes hy gaderen fiiiyt there 

And wyne and come in one yere. 

In the londe als I fynde, of Ynde 

Ben cit^s five thousynde; 

Withouten ydles and casdes, 

And boroughs tonnes swithe feles^. 

In the londe of Ynjj^e thou mighth lere 

Nyne thousynde folk of sdcouth^ manere 

That dier non is other yliche; 

Ne held thou it noughdi ferlich 

Ac by that thou understonde the gestes 

Bethe of man and ek of beestes, &c. 

Edward the Second is said to have carried with him to the 
siege of Stirling castle, in Scotland, a poet named Robert _ 
Baston* He was a Carmelite firiar of Scarborough ; and the 
king intended that Baston, being an eye-witness of the expe- 
dition, should celebrate his conquest of Scotland in verse. 
HoUingshead, an historian not often remarkable for penetnif- 
tion, mentions this circumstance as a singular proof of Ed- 
ward's presumption and confidence in his undertaking against 
Scotland : but a poet seems to have been a stated officer in 
the royal retinue when the king went to war^ Baston, how- 
ever, appears to have been chiefly a Latin poet, and therefore 
does not properly fall into our series. At least his poem on 
the siege of Striveling castle is written in monkish Latin hexa^ 

' chiU, cold. . to Huibert ardibiahop of Canterimry^ 

> very many. and Stephen Turnbam, a captain in the 
^ uncommon. expedition. He flourished about A.D. 

> Leland. Script. Brit p. 338. Hoi- 120a Tann. BiU. p. 591. See Voss. 
fingsh. Hist. iL p. 217. 22a Tanner Hist. Lat p. 441. He is called « poete 
mentions, as a poet of England, one per earn letatemezcellens.'* See Bid* ill. 
Gulielmus Peregrinus, who accompa- 45. Pits. 266. 

nied Richard the Furst into the Holy [See Leland. Script. Bkit. p. 228, 

Land, and sung his achievements there And a note in the editor's first Index* 

in a Latin poem, entitled OnosroaicoN under Guuxlmus dk Canno.— Addi- 

RicARM Rkois, lib. i. It is dedicated tions.] 



ENGLISH POETRY. 65 

meters^: and our royal bard being taken prisoner in the ex- 
pedition, was compelled by the Scotch to write a panegyric, 
for his ransom, on Robert Brus, which is composed in the 
same style and language^* Bale mentions his Poemata^ et 
Mytkmif Tragoedice et Qmosdue vulgaresK Some of these 
indeed appear to have been written in English : but no En- 
^h pieces of this author now remain. In the mean time, 
the bare existence of dramatic compositions in England at this 
period, even if written in the Latin tongue, deserve notice in 
investigating the progress of our poetry. For the same reason 
I must not pass over a Latin piece, called a comedy, written 
in this reign, perhaps by Peter Babyon; who by Bale is styled 
an admirable rhetorician and poet, and iSourished about the 
year 1317. This comedy is thus entitled in the Bodleian 
manuscript, De Babione et Croceo domino Babtonis et Viola 
JUiastra Bgbionis qtiam Croceus duxit invito Babione, et Pecula 
more Babionis et Fodio sua, S^c.^ It is written in long and 
^ort Latin verses, without any ^pearance of dialogue. In 
what manner, if ever, this piece was represented theatrically, 
cannot easily be discovered or ascertained. Unless we sup- 
pose it to have been recited by one or more of the characters 
concerned, at some public entertainment The story is in 
Gower^s Confessio Amantis. Whether Gower had it from 

• 

1 It is ektant in Fordun's Scoti-chron. on the ancient fable of Jupiter's intrigue 

c; xzm. L 12. with Alcmena. It is in the same style 

k Leland. ut supr. And MSS. HarL of dialogue with Babio, and has similar 

1819. Brit. Mus. See also Woody Hist margins directions; such as '< Jupiter 

Ant Unit. Oxon. L p. 101. Alcmenid; Alcmena Jovi.*' Thd line 

' Apud Tanner, p. 79. ■ quoted by Warton occurs in what may 

" Ardi. B. 52. be called the Prologue. The Cotton 

^ [It is difficult to account for the de- MS. affords no due as to the date of 

cided yet erroneous manner in which these singular productions. It contains 

Warton has spoken*of this piece. In a farrago of rhythmical pieces from the 

^Cotton manuscript, ^Titus A. zx.) time ol Gualo (1160) to Baston and 

the several parts of the dialogue are di- perh^[»s later. But in France such 

Btioguished by initial capitals ; and on pieces appear to have been' current du- 

tile opposite side stand manual notices ring the twelfth century. Du Boulay 

of tbe change of person. 'n>u» : << B»- has noticed a tragedy de Flaura et Afarco, 

bio, l^oUe ; Viola, Babioni ; Fodius, and a comedy called uilda, written by 

Balnoni ; Babio, Croceo.'*— The Co- William of Blois in the reign of Louis 

medyof Geta noticed below, and also VII. (1137-1180). See Hist. Unit, 

ocoming in the Cotton MS., is founded Par. torn. ii. p. S97."-£dzt.] 

VOL. IL F * 



§6 THE HISTORY QF 

this performance I will not enquire.. It appears at least that 
he took it from some previous book. 

I find writte of Babio, 

Which had a love at his menage, 

Ther was no fairer of hir age, 

And hight Viola by name, &c. 

And had affaited to his hande 

His servant, the which Spodius 

Was hote, &c. 

A fresh a free and friendly man, &c. 

Which Croceus by name hight, &c. " , 

In the mean time it seems most probable, that this piece has 
been attributed to Peter Babyon, on account of the likeness of 
the name Babio, especially as he is a ridiculous character. On 
the whole, there is nothing dramatic in the structure of this 
nominal comedy; and it has certainly no claim to- that title, 
only as it contains a familiar and comic story carried on with 
much scurrilous satire intended to raise mirth. But it; was not 
uncommon to call any short poem, not serious or tragic, a 
comedy. In the Bodleian manuscript, which comprehends 
Babyon*s poem just mentioned, there follows Comedia de 
Geta: this is in Latin long and short verses^, and has no 
ihiarks of dialogue^. In the library of Corpus Christi college 
at Cambridge, is a piece entitled Comedia ad monasterium de 
tlulme ordinis S> Benedicti Dioces. Normc. directa ad Refor-- 
mationem sequententy ctijus data est primo die Septembris svb 
anno Christi 14*77, et a morte Joannis Fasto(fe militis eorum. 
benefdctoris^ precipui 17, in ctyus monasterii ecdesia kumatur^. 
This is nothing more than a satyrical ballad in Latin ; yet 

' '^ Lib. V. f* 109. b. Edit Berth. 1554. to Magdalene College iii Oxford. He 

/ ^ Carmiha com|>Osuit, voluitque' pla- bequeathed estates to that society, pa|rt 

cererpoeta. ^'f. V21, of which ^were appropriated to buy Uve- 

■'^'lA the ephcopai palace at Norwich ries for sc^e of the senior scholars. But 

i^a curioutt inece tiiold wainscot brought thisbeiie^M^onjiii tiibe, gelding no more 

fnom the ^nonaistery of Holmtf at thd time • than ft' penny a we«^' to th^ scholars who 

of its dissolution. Am'one other antique receiv<^ the liberies, they were called, 

ornaments «re the arms of Sir John Fal- h%^vB.f of contempt, Fals^ff*s buckram^. 

stiffT, their jDrincipal benefactor. ^ This nien. 
magnificent icnight was aUd a befte&ctor ' Miscell. M. p. 374. 



ENGLISHPOETRY. 67 

some allegorical personages are introduced, which however 
are in no respect accommodated to scenical representation* 
About the reign of Edward the Fourth, one Edward Watson, 
a scholar in grammar at Oxford, is permitted to proceed to a 
decree in that faculty, on condition that within two years he 
would write one hundred verses in praise of the university, and 
also compose a Comedy *. The nature apd subject of Dan- 
te's Comedy, as it is styled, is well known*. The comedies 
ascribed to Chaucer are probably his Canterbury Tales. We 
learn from Chaucer's own words, that tragic tales were called 
Tragedies. In the Prologue to the Monkes Tale — 

Tragedy is to tell a certaine story, 
As old bokis makin ofte memory, 
Of hem that stode in grete prosperite, 
Ajid be fallen out of her high degree, &c. ' 

Some of these, the Monke adds, were written in prose, others 
in metre. Afterwards follow many tragical narratives: of 
which he says, 

Tragidies first wol I tell 

Of which I have an hundred in my cell. 

tidgate further confirms what is here said with regard to comedy 
as well as tragedy. 

My maister Chaucer with fresh comedies, 
Is dead, alas ! chief poet of Britaine : 
That whilom made fid piteous tragedies". 

The stories in the Mirror of Magistrates are called tra- 

* Hist. Antiq. Uiut. Oxon. iL 4« col. 2. culiar to such compositions, in his trea- 

• * [Inilie dedication of his Paradise to tise << De Yulgari Eioquentia;" though 

Can ddla Scala, Dante thus explains his his precepts when oppo^ to his pra^cQ 

own views of Tragedy and Comedy : have proved a sad stumbling-block to the 

" Est comoedia genus quoddam poeticie Critics : " Per Tragoediam superiorem 

toradoDis ^db omnibus aliis differensb styluminduimu8,perComcediaminferio- 

Biffisrt ergo in materia a tragosdia per rem. . . Si tragice canenda vicentur, turn 

luieyquodtragdediainprincipioestadtnt^ adsumendum est Yulgare illustre. Si 

nUlik et quieta^ in fine dive exitu, foetida vero cornice, turn quandoque mediocre, 

tt honilMlis— ...Comcedia vero indioat quandoque humile vulgare sumatur.'* 

aiperitfttem aUcujils rei, sed ejus ma- lib. iL c. iv.t»>£DR.] 

teriam prosper^ tenninatur.— ^xtiiHter ^ v. 85. See also, ibid. v.lOS. 786. 875. 

di0enmtmmoc;o7o9t<«ndi." He has also "^ ProL F. Pr. v. i. See also Chau- 

expatiated upon* the disUncttve styles pe* cer*8 Ttoil, and Cr. v. 1785. 1787. 

F ? 



68 THE HISTORY OF 

• 

OEDIES) SO late as the sixteenth century ^. Bale calls his play, 
or Mystery, of God's Promises, a tragedy, which appeared 
about the year 1538. 

I must however observe here, that dramatic entertainments, 
representing the lives of saints and the most eminent scriptural 
stories, were known in England for more than two centuries 
before the reign of Edward the Second. These spectacles 
they commonly styled miracles. I have already mentioned 
the play of saint Catharine, acted at Dunstable about the 
year 1110*. William Fitz-Stephen, a writer of the twelfth 

^ The elegant Fontenelle mentions tions, with what she is pleased to term 

one Parasols a Limosin, who Wrote the lewd voluptuousness of the Grecian 

Cinque belles Tragedies des gestes de females, the Catholic world might be 

Jeanne reine de Naples, about the year induced to forget the antient classic ; 

1383. Here he thinks he has discovered, and to receive with avidity an orthodox 

so early as the fourteenth century, <<une substitute, combining the double advan- 

Foete trag^gue.'^ I have never seen tage of [Measure and Instruction. How 

these five Tragedies, nor perhaps had far her expectations were gratified in 

Fontenelle. But I will venture to pro- this latter particular, it is impossible to 

nounce, that they are nothing more than say ; but we can easily conceive, that the 

five tragical narratives : Queen Jane almost total obliviscence of the Roman 

murthered her four husbands, and was author during the succeeding ages, mu^ 

afterwards put herself to death. See have surpassed even her sanguine wishes. 

Fontenelle's Hist de Theatr. Fr. (Euvr. It does not appear that these dramas 

tom. trois. p. 20. edit. Paris, 1742. were either intended for r^resentation, 

12mo. Nor can I believe that the TVo- or exhibited at any subsequent period. 

gedies and Comedies, as they are called. They have been publish^ twice : by 

ot Anselm Fayditt, and other early Conrad Cehes in 1501, and Leonhard 

troubadours, had any thing dramatic Schurzfleisch in 1707. They have also 

It is worthy of notice, that Pope Cle- been analysed by Gottsched in his Ma- 

ment the Seventh rewarded Parasols for terials for a History of the German 

his five tragedies with two canonries. Stage. Leip. 1757.— >Pez (in his The- 

Compare Recherches sur les Theatr. de saur. Noviss. Anecd. voi. ii. p. iii. 

France, par M. de Beauchamps, Paris, f. 185) has published an ancient Latin 

1735. 4to. p. 65, Mystoy, entitled " De Adventu et 

^ Dissertation ii. Interitu Antichristi,'* and. which he 

[Perhaps the plays of Roswitha, a acknowledges to have copied from a ma- 

tiun of Gandersheim in Lower Saxony, nuscript of the twelfth century. It ap- 

wfao lived towards the close of the tenth proaches nearer to the character of a 

century, af!brd the earliest specimens of pageant, than to the dramatic cast of the 

dravatic composition, rince the decline later mysteries. The dumb show ap-' 

of die R<nnan Empire. They vrere pears to have been considerable $ the 

professedly written for the benefit of dialogue but occasional; and ample 

those Chr^ians, who, abjuring all other scope is given for the introduction of 

heathen vnriters, were irresistibly attract- pomp and decoration. The passages 

ed by the graces of Terence, to the im- to be deelaimed are vmtten in Latin 

minent danger of thdr spiritual welfare rhyme. Lebeuf also mentions a Latin 

and the certain pollution of their moral Mystery vmtten so early as the time of 

-liBdinps. Roswitha appears to have Henry I. of France (1031—1061). In 

been impressed with a bope, that by con- this, \^gil is aasodated with the prp- 

trasting the laudable chastity of Chris- phets who come to offer didradoiutioBS 

tian virtue as exhibited in her coroposi- to the new-born Messiah ; and at the 



ENGLISH POETBT. 



69 



century, in his Description of London, relates that, '^ Lon- 
don, for its theatrical exhibitions, has holy plays, or the repr^ 
sentadon of miracles wrought by confessors, and of the suffer- 
ings of martyrs 5^.'* These pieces must have been in high vogue 
at our present period; for Matthew Paris, who wrot^ about 
the year 1240, says that they were such as " Miracula vul- 
6ARITER APPELLAMUs'.'' And we leam from Chaucer, that 



canclusion he joins his Toice with tfadn 
in«ixigtiigaloiig.B^ii«diani9m<. Afrag- 
ment of what may be a Gennan trans- 
latfam of the same mystery, and copied 
fnm a maimsrript of the thirteendi ceii^ 
tuiy, will be found in Dieterich's Spe- 
cimen Antiquitatum Biblicanmi, p. 122. 
Marburg 1642. But her^, Virgil ap- 
pears as an acknowledged heathen; and 
he is only admitted with the other pro* 
pbets from his supposed predictions of 
the coming Messiah contained in his 
Pollio. In conformity with this opinion, 
Bante adopted him as his guide in the 

' ** Lundonia pro spectaculis dieatra- 
libus, pro ludis scenids, ludos habet 
sanctiores, representationes miraculo- 
mm quae sancti confessores operati sunt, 
sen rejHnesentationes passionum auibus 
claruit constantiamartyrum.*' Act calc. 
Stowe's SuavKT of London, p. 480. 
edit. 1599. The reader will observe, 
that I have construed sanctiorei in a 
pbsitive sense. Fitz- Stephen mentions at 
the end of hia tract, <* |mpsratricem 
Matildem, Heniicum regem tertium, et 
beatum Thomam« &c." p. 483. Henry 
.the Jhird did not accede till the year 
.1216. Perhaps he ii^plied ^uturum re- 
gem terdum. [Fitz-Stephen is speak- 
ing of Henry the younger, son of Henry 
*\L and grandson to me empress Ma- 
tilda, who ym& crowned king m the life- 
. time of his fiither ; and is expressly styled 
■ Henrkm J^tius by Matthew Paris, 
William (>f Newbery, and several other 
of our ^arly lusum^ms.— >Ritson.] 

* yiX, Abbat. ad c^lc. Hist, p, 56. 
edit. 1639, 

rWilliam de Wadigton (who pos- 
sibly was a contemi)orary of Matthew 
Paris) has left a violent tirade against 
this gep^rd pr$^:tice of acting Miracles. 
As it contains some curious particulars 
relative to the manner in which they 



were conducted, and die places selected 
ibr exhibiting them, an extriict from it 
tf^y not be out of place here. 
Un autre f<^e apert 
ynt les fob d^ cuntnyv^; 
Q^e miracles sunt apel^ 
Lur faces unt la deguise^ 
Par visers li forsene, 
Qe est defendu en decree ; 
Tant est plus grant lur pech& 
Fere poent representement, 
Mes oe ceo seit chastement. 
En office de seint ^dise 
Qjuant hom fet 1% Deu servise. 
CSvm Ihu Cntt lejiz Dee, 
En sepulcre etteit posSf 
Et la remrrectiun : 
Par plus aver devociun. 
Mes fere foles asoemblez, 
En les rues des dtez, 
Ou en cymiters apres mangen, 
Quant venent les fols volonters. 
Tut dient qe il le funt pur bien : 
Crere ne les devez pur rien, 
Qe fet seit pur le honur de Dee. 
E iuz del Deable pur verit^, 
Seint Ysidre me ad testim9nie, 
Qe fut si bon plerc l^ttr^ 
Il dit qe cil qe funt spectacles. 
Cum lem fet en miracles, 
Ou iuz qe vus nomames einz, 
Burdiz ou tumen^injs^ 
Lur baptesme unt refusez, 
£ Deu de del leneiezi &c» 
Ke en lur iuz se deUtera, 
Chevals ou hameis les aprestera. 
Vesture ou autre oumement, 
3achez il fet folement. ^ 

Si vestemcns serent dediez. 
Plus grant dassez est le pechez. 
Si prestre ou clerc le ust preste, 
Bien dust estre chaustie ; 
Car sacril^e est pur vent^. 
E ki par vanite les verrunt^^ , 

De lur fet partaverunt. 

Harl. MS, 273. f. 14U^^dkt*] 



7a THEHISTORYOF 

in his time Plays of Miracles were the common resort of 
idle gossips in Lent. 

Therefore made I my visitations, 

To prechings eke and to pilgrimagis, 

To Plays ^Miracles, and mariagis, &c.* 

Thb is the genial Wife of Bath, who amuses herself with 
these fashionable diversions, while her husband is absent in 
London, during the holy season of Lent And in Pikrce 
Plowman's Crede, a piece perhaps prior to Chaucer, a friar 
Minorite mentions these Miracles as not less frequented than 
markets or taverns. 

We haunten no tavemes, ne hobelen abouten, 
Att markets and Miracles we medeley us never*. 

Among the plays usually represented by the guild of Corpus 
Christi at Cambridge, on that festival, Ludus filiorum 
Israelis was acted in the year 1355*^. Our drama seems 
hitherto to have been almost entirely confined to religious sub- 
jects, and these plays were nothing more than an appendage to 
the specious and mechanical devotion of the times. I do not 
find expressly, that any play on a profane subject, either tragic 
or comic, had as yet been exhibited in England. Our very 

* Prol. Wif. B. V. 555. p. 80. Urr. Of this last there is a translation in the 

*> Signat. A. iii. b. edit. 1561. British Museum. MSB HarL 1867. 2. 

' Masters*s Hist C. C. C. C. p. 5. It is entitled the CaEiTro^ Of thb 

yd. i. [Perhaps the earliest English World. It is called a Cornish i^ar or 

Miracle^Plctt/ extant, is <* Our Saviours opera, and said to be written by Mr. 

Descentinto Hell," noticed by Mr. Strutt William Jordan. The translation into 

in his '* Manners and Customs of the English was made by John Keigwin of 

People of England," vol. 2. It has been Moushole in Cornwall, at Ihe request of 

recentiy transcribed for publication from Trelawney, bishop of Exeter, 1691. Of 

a MS- temp. Edward II. Mr. Croft in this WilliEun Jordan I can give no ac- 

his '* Excerpta Antiqua" has given a count. In the British Museum there 

specimen of the Corpus Christi pageant is an antient Cornish poem on the death 

as it was exhibited at York in tiie thir- and resurrection of Christ. It is oh 

teenth century.— Edit.] What was the vellum, and has some rude pictures, 

antiquity of tiie Gtuiry-Miracle, or Mi" The beginning and end are lost. Hie 

raclC'Play in Cornwall, has not been writing is supposed to be of the fifteenth 

determined. In the Bodleian library century. MSS. Harl. 1782. 4to. Seethe 

are three Cornish interludes, written on learned Lwhyd*s ArchseoL Brit. p. 265. 

parchment. B. 40. Art. In the same And Borlase*s Cornwall, Nat Hist, 

library there is also another, written on p. 295. edit. 1758. 
paper in the year 1611. Arch. B. 31. 



ENGLISH POETRT. 71 

early ancestors scarce knew iinyodier history than that of their 
religibn. Even on such an occasion as the triun^hant entry 
0f a king4>r queen into the city of London, or other places, the 
peg^atts^vepeahnost entirely Scriptural^. Yet I must observe^ 
thatan article in one of the pipe-rolls, perhaps of the re^ of 
kmg John, and coiisequentty about the year 1200, seams to 
'{dace die mdimtiitR <tf faast^btiic. ^^hibition, I mean of general 
subgects, at a mucli h^her period among us than is conmKmly 
ioiagiiied* It is in theise woids : *^ Kicda uxor Gerardi de 
Canvill, redctit computum de centum mards pro maritanda 
Matildi filia sua cuicunque vduerit, excqptis MiMicis regis ^^ 
— ^^ Nkola, wife of Gerard x^ CanviUe, accounts to the king for 
<me himdred marks for the privilege of marrying his [her] 
dau^t^ Maud to whatever person she pleases, the king^s 
BnMics^ excepted." Whether or no mimici regis are here A 
sort ^{dayiers k^t ,in the king's household for divertfaig the 
court at stated seasons, at least widi performances of mimicry 
and masquerade, or w;hether they may not strictly imply Min- 
BTRELLS, I cannot indeed determine. Yet we may remark, 
that MiMicus is never used for Mimus, that certain theatricd 
entertmnments called mascarades, as we shall see below, were 
very antient among the French, and that these Mimici appear, 
by the context of. thb article, to have been persons of no very 
respectable character ^ I likewise find in the wardrobe-rolls 
of Edward the Third, in the year 1S48, an account of the 
dress^ ad faciendum Ludos domini regis ad ffesivm Natalis 
domini celebrates apud Gttldeford, for furnishing the plays or 
sports of the king, held in the casde of Guildford at the feast 

* When our Henry the Sixth entered mediately to our purpose. See Mon- 

Paiis in 14.11, in the quality of king of strelet apud Fonten. Hist Theatr. ut 

France, he was met at the gate of Saint supr. p. S7. 

Penis by a Dumb Shew, rqsresenting ' Riot, inoert. ut videtur Reg. Jo- 

the birth of the l^igin Mary and her hann. Apud MSS. Jabes, BibL Bodh 

marriage, the adontaon of the three vii. p. 104. 

kinffs, and the parable of the sower. ' Johii of Sialisbui^, who wrote about 

This pageant indeed was given by Uie 1160, says, *<Hi8tnones et mimi non 

French: but the readers of Holhngs- possunt redpere sacram communia- 

head will recollect many instances im- nem.*! Policbat. i* 8. 



Y2 THE HISTORY OF 

of Christmas^. In thesie Ludi, says my record, were expended 
eighty tunics of buckram of vaijious colours, forty-two visour» 
of various similitudes, that is, fourteen of the faces of women, 
fourteen of the faces of men with beards, fourteen of heads of 
^ngels, made with silver; twenty-eight crests % fourteen man*!- 
tles embroidered with heads of dragons : fourteen white tunics 
wrought with heads and wings of peacocks, fourteen heads of 
swans with wings, fourteen tunics painted with eyes of peacocks, 
foMxteen tunics of £ngli3h linen painted, and as many tunics 
embroidered with stars of gold and Silver ^ In the rolls .of 
the wardrobe of king Richard the Second, in the year 1391, 
th(sre is also an entry which seems to point out a sport of mudi 
the same nature. ^' Pro xxi coifs de tela linea pro hominibus 
de lege contrafectis pro ludo regis tempore natalis domini 
anno xii^/' That is, " for twenty-one linen coife for counter- 
feiting men of the law in the king^s play at Christmas," It 
will be sufficient to add here on the last record, that the serr 
je^nts at law at their creation, antiently wore a cap of linen, 
lawn, or silk, tied und^r the chin : this was to distinguish them 
from the clergy who had the topsure- Whether in both these 

' Comp. J. Cooke, Provisoris Mag- apparelled in gannents long and broad 

n« Garderob. ab a^n, 21 £dw.^ L S^ wrouglM: all vHh gold, with visors and 

ann. 23. Membr. iz« caps of gold," &c Hist. toI. iiL p. 812. 

*^ I do not perfectly understand the a. 40. Besides, these maskings most 

Latin original in the place, viz. << ^j probably came to the English, if from 

Orestes cwn tibiis reversatis et calceatis, Italy, through the mediwn of France. 

xii\i C«i£«tescummontibiiset cuniculis.'* HoUingshetul also contradicts himself: 

Among the stuffs are '* viii pelles de fpr in another place he seems to ^ow 

Roan. In the same wardrobe roUs, a their existence under our Henry the 

little above, I ^n^ this entry, which re- Fourth, A.p. 1400. ** Theopnspintofs 

lates to the same festival. '* £t ad fa- ment upon the sudden to have set upon 

dendum vi pennecellos pro tubis et cla- the king in the casitell of Windsor, under 

rionibus contra ffestum natalis domini, colour of a maske or mumtnene,** &c. 

de iSyndone, vapulatos de annis regb ibid. p. 515. b. 50. Strype says there 

quartellatis." Membr. ix. were Paoxaitnts exhibiied in London 

* Some perhaps may think, that these when queen Eleanor rode through the 

virer^ dr^ss^ for a Masqux at court. If city to her coronation, in 1236, And 

so, Hollings|iead is mistaken in saying, for the victory over the Scots by Edward 

that in the year 1512, <'on die daie of the First in 1298. Anecdot. Brit. Topo- 

^piphanie at night, the king widi eleven graph, p. 725. Lond. edit 1768. 
others were disguised after the* manner ^ Comp. Magn. Garderob. an« 14^ 

pf Italie called a maske, a thing Tiot Ric. II. f. 19S. b. 
^en before in SngUmd* They were 



ENGLISH POETRY. 73 

instances we are 'to understand a dumb shew, or a dramatic 
interlude with speeches, I leave to the examination of those 
who are professedly making enquiries into the history of our 
stage fit»n its rudest origin. But that plays on general sub- 
jects were no uncommon mode of entertainment in the royal 
palaces of England, at least at the commencement of the fif- 
teenth century, may be collected from an old memoir of shews 
and ceremonies exhibited at Christmas, in the reign of Henry - 
the Seventh, in the palace of Westminster. It is in the year 
1489. " This cristmas I saw no disguysings, and but right fab 
Plats. But ther was an abbot of Misrule, that made much 
sport, and did right well his office." And again, ^^ At nyght 
die kynge, the qweene, and my ladye the kynges moder, cam 
into tfie Whitehall, and ther hard a Play *." 

As to the religious dramas, it was customary to perform this 
species of play on holy festivals in or about the churches. In 
the register of William of Wykeham, bishop of Winchester, 
under the year 1S84*, an episcopal injunction is recited, against 
the exhibition of Spectacula in the cemetery of his cathedral ™. 
Whether or no these were dramatic Spectacles, I do not 
pretend to decide. In several of our old scriptural plays, we 
see some of the scenes directed to be represented cwn cantu et 
organis, a common rubric in the missal. That is, because thej 
were performed in a church where the choir assisted. There 
is a curious passage in Lambarde's Topographical Dictionary 
written about the year 1570, much to our purpose, which I 
am therefore tempted to transcribe^. '^In the dayes of cere*- 
t ■ 

1 Leland, ColL iiL Append. p« 256. Synod. Eccles. Leod. A.D, 1287. apud 

edit' 1770. Marten, ut supr. p. 846. F6ntenelle 

. °^ Regi^tr. |ib. iii. f. 88. " Canere says, that antiently among the Frencb^ 

Cantilenas ludibriorum spectacula fa- . comedies were acted after divine service, 

cere, saltationes et alios ludos inhonestos in the church-yard. *' Au sortir du ser- 

hecpuaataxe, choreas,** &c» So in Statut. xnpn ces bonnes gens alloient a la C<h- 

Eccles. Nannett. A.D. 1405. No <<mi- medie, e*est a dire, qu'ils changeoint de 

mi vel jocUlatcMPes, ad monttra larvarum Sermon.** Hist Theatr. utsupr. p. 24, 

in ecdesia et cemeterio,** are permitted. But these were scriptural foonedies, and 

Marten. Thesauri Anecd. iv. p. 993. they were constantly preceded by a Be- 

And again, << Joculatores, histriones, nsdicite, by way of prologue, Th^ 

^Utatrices, in ecdesia, cemeterio, vel French stage will occur again below, 

porticu.— >nec aJiquae chorese,** Statut ° Pag. 459. edit 17S0, 4to. 



74 tHEfilSTORTOF 

SKXDial rdif^oa^ they used at Wytney (in Oxfordshire) to 
«et fourthe yearly in man^ of a shew, or int^h^le, -the re^ 
sucrecdon of our Lord, &c. For the which purposes, ^md th^ 
more lyvely heareby to exhibite to the eye th^ hole acti^i ^ 
the resurrection, the priestes garnished out certain smalle pup- 
pettes, representing the pers(»is of Christe, the watchmen, 
Marie, and others ; amoi^est the which, one bare the pprte of 
a wakinge watchman, who espiinge Christe to ariie^ made ^ 
continual noyce^ like to the sound that is caused by the me- 
tynge of two styckes, and was thereof commonly called Jacf: 
Snacker of Wytna/. The like toye I mysd^ beinge then 9. 
childe, once sawe in Poule's churche at London, at a feast of 
Whitsuntyde; wheare the comynge downe of the Holy Gost 
was set forthe by a white pi^n, that was let to . fly out of -^ 
hole that yet is to be sene in the mydst of the roofe dT the 
greate lie, and by a longe censer which descendinge out of the 
isame place almost to the verie grounde, was swii^ed up and 
downe at suche.a lengthe, that it readied with thone swq)e 
almost to the west-gate of the churche, and ytnih the other to 
the quyre staires of the same; breathinge out over the whole 
chi^rdie and con^Mune a most pleasant perfiune of such swete 
thinges as burned therein. With the' like doome shewes also^ 
they used everie where to furnish sondrye parts of their church 
service, bs by their spectacles of the nativitie, passion, and 
escensicm," &c. 

This practice of acting plays i^ churches, was at last grown 
•to such an enormity, and attended with. such inconvenient con- 
sequences, that in the reign of Henry the Eighth, Bonner, 
bi^(q> of London, issued a proclamation to the clergy of his 
diocese, dated 154*2, prohibiting '^ all maner of common 
plays, games, or interludes to be played, set forth, or deSared, 
within their churches, chapels," &c,® This fashion seems to 
have remained even after the Reformation, and when perhiqps 
IH*ofane stories had taken place of religious p. Archbishop 

** Burnet, Hist Ref. L CdL Bee. ' From ft puritanical pamphlet entitled 

P«g- 225. TU£ TRIJU} BjLASX of RiCIBAlT FAOX 



ENGLISH POETRY. 75 

Grindal, in the year 156S, remcmstrated against the dai^r oi 
interludes: complaixmig that fiajera ^did especially on holy 
days, set. up bills inviting to their play^." From this ecdesi* 
astical source of the modem drama, plays continued to beaded 
cm Sundays so late as the reign of Elizabeth, and even tiU.that 
of Charles the . First, by the choristers or singing^boys .of Saint 
Paul's cathedral in London, and of the royal chapel. 

It is certain, that these Miracle-flats were the first of our 
dramatic exhibitions. But as these pieces frequently required 
the introduction of allegorical characters, such as Charity, Sin^ 
Deaths Hqpe, Faith, or Ae like, and as the common poetry of 
the times, especially among the French, began to deal much in 
allegoiy, al length plays were formed entirely consisting of such 
personifications. These were called Moralities. The nur 
racle-plays, or Mysteries, were totally destitute of invention 
or plan : they tamely represented stories according to the letter 
of scripture, or the respective legend. But the Moralities 
indicate dawnings of the dramatic art: they contain some ru- 
diments of a plot, and even attempt to delineate character^ 
and to paint manners. From hence the gradual transition to 
real historical perscmages was natural and obvious. It mi^ 
be also observed, that many licentious pleasantries were some- 
times introduced in these religious representations. This might 
imperceptibly lead the way to subjects entirely pro&ne, and to 
comedy, and perhaps earlier than is imagined. In a Mystery' 
of the Massacre of the Holy Innocents, part of the sub- 
ject of a sacred drama given by the English fathers at the fer 
mous council of Constance, in the year 14? 17*, a low bufibon 
of Herod's court is introduced, desiring of his lord to be dub- 
bed a knight, that he might be properly qualified to go on the 
adventure of killing the mothi^rs of the children of Bethlehem. 

Plaixs,.&c 1580. I2mo. p. 77. Where bids also the profanation of churches by 

the author says, the players are ''per- court-leets, &c. The canons were given 

mitted to pi^Ush their mamettne in in the year 1603. 
ererie terapk of God, and that, through- ^ Strype's Grindall, p. 82. 
oot England,*' &c. This abuse oi act- ' MS& Digb. 134. Bibl. Bodl* 
ing i^ays in churches is m^itioned in * L* Enfant ii* 4^ 
the canon 4}f James the First, which for- 



76 THEHISTOBYOF 

This tragical business is treated with the most ridiculous levity. 
The good women of BetMehem attack our knight-errant with 
their spinning-wheels, break his hefld with their distaSs, abuse 
him as a coward and a disgrace to chivalry, and send him 
home to Herod as a recreant champion with much ignominy. 
It is in an enlightened age only that subjects of scripture his- 
tory would be supported with proper dignity. But then an 
- 0ilightened age would not have chosen such subjects for thea- 
trical exhibition. It is certain that our ancestors intended no 
- sort of impiety by these mcmstrous and unnatural mixtures. 
Neither the writers nor the spectators saw the impropriety, 
nor paid a separate attention to the comic and the serious part 
of these motley scenes ; at least they were persuaded that the 
solemnity of the subject covered or excused all incongruities. 
They had no just idea of decorum, consequently but litde 
'$ense of the ridiculous : what appears to us to be the highest 
burlesque, on them would have made no sort of impression. 
We must not wonder at this, in an age when courage^ devo- 
tion, and ignorance, composed the character of European 
manners; when the knight going to a tournament, first in^ 
voked his God, then his mistress, and afterwards proceeded 
with a safe conscience and great resolution to engage his anta>- 
gonist In these Mysteries I have sometimes seen gross and 
open obscenities. In a play of the Old and New Testament^ 

^ MSS. HarL 2013, &c. Exhibited at the Glovers. Jesus and the JLepers by 
Chester in the year 1327, at the expence the Corvesarys. Christ* s Pasdon by die 
, of the diffisrent trading companies of Bowyers, Fletchers, and Ironmongers, 
that city. T/ie Fall of Ludfer by the Descent into Hell by the Cooks and Inn- 
Toners. The Creation by the Drapers, keepers. The Resurrection by the Skin- 
The Delttg/s by the Pyers. Jbrahamy ners. The Ascension by the Taylors. 
Melckisedech, and Lot by the Barbers. The election of S, Mathids, Sending of the 
'Moses, £alak, and ^Balaam by the Cap' holy ghost, ^c. by the Fishmongers, ^n- 
pers. The Salutation and Nativity hy the techrist by the Clothiers. . Day of Judg- 
Wrightcs. The Shepherds feedmg their m^n^ by the Websters. The reader will 
flocks by night, hy the Painters and Gla- perhaps smile at some of these Combina- 
ziers. The three Kings by the Vintners, txons. This is the substance and order 
The Oblation of the three Kings by the of the former part of the play:— > God en- 
Mercers. The Killing of the Innocents ters creating Uie world : he breathes ^fe 
by the Goldsmiths. The Purification into Adam, leads him into Paradise, imd 
by the Blacksmiths. The Temptation by opens his dde while sleeping. Adam 
the Butchers. The last Sujfjyer by the and Eve appear naked and not ashamed, 
Pakers. The BUndmen and Lazarus by and the old serpent enters lamenting his 



ENGLISH POETRY. 77 

Adam and Eve are both exhibited on the stage naked, and con- 
versing about their nakedness : this very pertinently introduces 
the next scene, in which they have coverings of fig-leaves* 
This extraordinary spectacle was beheld by a numerous as- 
sembly of both sexes with great composure : they had the 
authwity of scripture for such a representation, and they gave 
matters just as they found them in the third chapter of Genesis. 
It would have been absolute heresy to have departed from the 

(tSL He conTerses with Eve. She eats —it acknowledges a difference of chro- 

of the forbidden finiit and gives part to nology from all preceding roisters, which 

Adam. Hiey propose, according to the it justifies by the stale device of having 

stage-direction, to make themselves tub" consulted *' true and ancient deeds ;** 

Ugacula afoliu quHnu tegamtu Pudenda, and it attempts to invalidate the accounts 

Cover thor nakedness with leaves, and generally received, by sayins diey were 

convert with Grod* God*s curse. Tlie all compiled so IcUe as the r&^ of £d^ 

sopent exit hissing. They are driven ward III* The document itself is of 

from Paradise by four angels and the the seventeenth century ; and as the 

cherubim with a flaming sword. Adam Chester antiquaries have been unable to 

appears digging the ground, and Eve adduce any collateral testimonial favour- 

qnnning. Tbeur children Cain and Abel ingitsauthenticity,itinaynotbetoomuch 

enter: The former kills his brother, to affirm : that the whole account bears 

Adam's lamentation. Cain is banish- strong internal marks of being a blun^ 

ed, &C. dering attempt to fill a vacancy in the 

[A few brief extracts from this coUec- Chester annals between the reigns of 

tion will be found in die second volume Henry and Edward. The existence of 

of Mr. Strutt*s " Manners and Customs one John Amwaie at this period (noticed 

of the People of England," and in Mr. by Mr. Ormerod), who be it observed is 

Lysons* Magna Britannia (co. Cheshire), styled neither knight nor mayor of Ches- 

Seealso Mr..Onnerod*s Hist of Che- ter, can hardly be considered as corro- 

shire, voL L p. 296.— >The contradictions borative evidence. If we reject the au- 

inthe Chester registers, which record the thority of this catalogue, the chronolo- 

exhibition of these plays, have caused a gical discrepancies become trifling. Sir 

divenity of opinion as to the period of John Amwaie and RandaU Higden are 

their appearance, and the name of their then made contemporaries ; and the later 

author. If Sir J<^n Amwaie were mayor traditions— for such they seem to be— 

of Chester in the year 1269, " in [which] may easOy be reconciled with historical 

yere,** it is said, <<the Whitson. plays fatis. In Geo. Bellen's Catalogue of the 

were invented in Chester by one Ron- Mayors and Sheriffs of Chester, from 

don Higden, a monk in the Abby of 1317 to 1622, (HarL MS. 2125. f. 197.) 

Chester, (HarL MS. 2125. f. 272 verso) we find it stated under the year 1327, 

it IB very evident that they could not when Sir John Amwaie was mayor: 

have been written by the same Randall The Whitson playes first made by one 

Higden who continued the Polychroni- Dan RandaU [Higgenettl a moonke of 

con to 1344, and whose death is placed Chester Abbey [who was thrise at Rome 

by Bale in 1363. There are, however, before he could obtayn leave of the Pope 

vmesu^iciousdrcum^ances attending to have them in the English tonge]. 

flie document which oontdns this state- The passages within brackets appear to 

meot, that render its accuracy extremely be the additions of a later hand. In the 

queracoiable. It professes to be a cata- HarL MS. 1948. f. 48, it is also said, 

Ifttue of Mayors from the 24th of Henry under the year 1 339, — that one RandoU 

IIL which however it dates in the year Higden, a monk in the Abbaye of Ches- 

2257— a triflLbig error of seventeen years, ter, did translate the s^me (Whitson 



7S THE HISTORY OF 

sacred text in' personating the primitive appearance of our first 
parmts, whom the spectators so nearly resembled in simplicity: 
and if this had not been the case, the dramatists were ignorant 
what to rgect and what to retain. 

In the mean time, profane dramas seem to have been known 
m France at a much earlier period". Du Cange gives the 
following picture of the king of France dining in public before 
the year 1300. During this ceremony, a sort of farces or 
drolls seems to have been exhibited. All the great officers 
of the crown and the houshold, says he, were, present The 

playes) into Englisbe. The plays ac^ exa^^^eratioii. Perhaps in this we haTe 

ooid with this declaration, and attribute the counterpart to the narratiTe in the 

the authorship to one Don Rondall. A proclamation ; for the equity of tradition 

prodamatfon bound up with them, and rather ddi^ts in awarding recqnrocal 

bearing date 24th Henry VIII. (1533) compensations, than in restoring to the 

assigns their first appearance to the may- contending claimants their origmal pro- 

•mlty of John Amwaie, though it con^ perty.— £S>it.] 

tains the following noUce of the author: " John of Salisbury, a writer of the 
^ a play... was devised and made by one eleventh century, speaking of the corn- 
Sir Henry Frances sometyme Moonck mon diversions of his time, says, ''Nos-> 
of this monastery dissolved who obtayn- tra setas prolapsa ad fabulas et quaevia 
mg and gat of Clemant then bushop of inania, non moido aures et cor prostituit 
Rome a 1000 dayes of pardon and of vanitati," &c. Foucrat. L 8. An in- 
the bushop of Chester at that tyme 40 genious French writer, Mons. Dodos, 
dayes of pardon. . .to every person resort- thinks that Plats are here implied. By- 
ing in peaceable maner with good de- the word Fdbula, says he, somethings, 
'votion to faeare and see the sayd playes," more is signified than dances, gesticula- 
&c.— In aU these accounts the tradition tion, and simple dialogue. Fabk pro- 
is consistent^ that the mysteries origi- perly means composition, and an ar- 
iiated during the mayoralty of Sir John rangement of things which constitute an 
Artiwaie ; and, with the exception of the action. Mem. A<»d. Inscr. xviL p. 224^' 
last-mentioned document, that they were 4to. But perhaps ya6uto has too vague 
written by Don Randall or RandoU Hig- and general a sense, especially in its pre- 
den. fo this assertion of the proclama- sent combination virith qtuBvU inania, to 
tion, we can oppose the dedded testi- bear.so predse and critical an interpro- 
mony of the prologue to the plays ; and tation. I wiU add, that if this reasoning 
Mr. Lysons has suggested an easy so- be true, the words wiU be equally appli- 
lution of the difiKculty, by supposing cid>le to the English stage.— At Ci>n- 
Frances to have been instrumental only stantinople it seems that the stage flou- 
in procuring the indulgence from Pope rished much under Justinian and Theo- 
Clement. This, if obtained of Clement dora, about the year 540. For in the 
VI. (as there is every reason to believe), Basiiical codes we have the oath of an 
must have occurred, between the years actress ^« m9»x**t*** *'"' «r«(Ni«f. Tom. 
1342-1352; and the distance of time vii. p. 682. edit. Fabrot. Grsco-Lat. 
would account for the conAision of his The antient Greek fiBithers, particularly 
labours vrith those of Higden. Th^^e saint Chrysostom, are full of declamation 
is nothing improbi^le in the statement against the drama : and complain, that 
that Higden translated these plays Seom the people heard a comedian with nuich 
the Latin ;Uiougfa his journeys to Rome, more pleasure than a preacher of the 
enshrined as they are in the mystic num- GospeL 
ber three, savour strongly of traditionary 



£N.aLISH POETRY. 79 

compaiiy was entertained with the mstrumental mnsic of the 
minstrells, who played on the kettle-drum, the flagdlet*^, the 
comet, the Latin cittern, the Bohemian flute, the tnmipet,> 
the Moorish, cittern, and the .fiddle. Besides there were; 
^des Farceurs, dei jongleurs, et des plaasantins, qui di- 
vertisseoi^it les compagnies par leur fitceties et par leur Co- 
medies, pour Pentretien." He adds, that many noble &mi- 
lies ir France were entirely ruined by the prodigious expences 
lavished on those performers*. The annals of France very 
early mention buffoons among the minstrells at these solemni* 
ties; and more particularly that Louis le Debonnaire, who 
rdgned about the year 8S0, never laughed aloud, not even 
when at the most magnificent festivals, players, buffoons, min- 
strels, singers, and harpers, attended his tabled. In some 
constitutions given to a cathedral church in France, in the 
year 1280, the following clause occurs. " Nulliis spectaculis 
aliquibus quae aut in Nuptits aut in Scents exhibentur, inter- 
sit*." Where, by the way, the word Scents seems to imply 
somewhat of a professed stage, although the establishment of 
the first French theatre is dated not before the year 1398.* 

{ ^ I beliere, a sort of pipew Tint is mittingthistobethe c ai ie . My gtfariduch- 

the French wcHf^ viz. Demy-canoii. See no au&ority is offered— the i^iproxima- 

' Carpent. Du Cange, GL Lat. i. p. 760. tion to dramatic composition is equalfy 

I ' DkaertaL Joinv. p. 161. ^ n>id. remote as when left in- the hands of a 

^ * Montfiiuc Cat. Mannscrip. p. 1 15S. solitary declaimer. Upon this ground 

I See also Marten. Thesaur.An^;d.tom.ir. every ballad, or romantic tale, which is 

. p» 506. Btat Synod. A.D. 1468. << Lar- known to have been accompanied bj 

J vamad Nuptias, Sec** Stowe, in his music and the voice, might b^ styled 

StfavKT OF LoNDOK, mentions the prao- ** a monument of theatric art ;" and by 

doe of aetine plays at weddhigs. analogy the riiapsodists of Greece, who 

* [A moSem French antiquary (M. sang &e Iliad at the public games, might 

SequefortX has claimed a much higher be said to have ** enacted £e plays" of 

antiquity for the establishment or rather Homer. Nor is the argument in favour 

ori^ of the Flinch stage ; thou^ upon oi the JeuX'-partiSf or such taJbUaan as the 

prindples^ it must be allowed, which have deux Bordeon ribaudSi in any degree more 

adecioed tendency to conf<mnd all di- admissible. In all &ese pieces there is 

I stinetibiis between the several kinds of nodung more than a simple interchange 

I poade compontton. The beautiAilr tale of (q>inion, wfaedier argumentative or 

df Alueassiki and Nioolette, is the comer vituperative, without pretension to inci- 

fUMeiipan wldch tiiis theory reposes; dent, fable, or development of chani&> 

addwUeh^asihe'iiarraliveisinterspersed ter. Indeed, if a multiplicity of inteiv 

iriA song, seems to have induced a be- locutors would alone oonstknte a drama, 

Iki, that the recitations were made by a the claim of Wolfiam von Eschenbaoh 

sioglelVouvererttQdthepoetiychaunted to be the founder of ^the German stage 

by a band of attendant minstrels. Ad- (as some of his countrymen have main- 

I 



80 THE HISTORY OP 

The play of Robin and Marian is said to have been per- 
formed by the school-boys of Angiers, according ta annual 
custom, in the year 1392*. A royal carousal given by Charles 
tbe^nfth of France to the emperor Charles the Fourth, in the 
year 1378, was closed with the theatrical representation of the 
Conquest of Jerusalem ly Godfrey of JBuUoigny which was ex- 

tained) would be undeniable. In his [Le Jeu de Robin et de Marwn, the 
'< Krieg auf Wartburg," a singular mo- piece alluded to in the text, h«;s been 
nument of early (1207) improTisatorial analysed by M. le Grand in the second 
skill, the declaimers in the nrst part are volume of his << Fabliaux et Contes." It 
six and in the second three Master or is there called Le Jeu du Berger et de la 
Minne-singers. But this poem, like the Sergere, and by him attributed to Adan 
Ttruons of the Troubadours, is a mere de le Hale, nidcnamed le B09U d* Arras, 
trial of poetical ingenuity, and bears a In this he is followed by M« Meon, the 
strong resemblance both in matter and editor of Baibazan*s Fabliaux, who also 
manner to the Ibmeyamens of the same ascribes to the same author a play called 
writers. That it was not considered a Le Jeu du Manage, M. RoqiKfort cata- 
play in earlier times, is clear from an il- logues *< Robin et Marion among the 
lumination published by Mr. Docen ; worics of Jehan Bodel d' Arras, the au- 
where the actors in this celebrated con- thor of three plays called Le Jeu de Pele- 
test are represented seated and sinking rin, Le Jeu d*Adam ou delaFeuUUey Le 
together, and above them is this decisive Jeu de St, Nicholas ; and a mystery called 
inscription : Hie krieget mit sange, Le Miracle de Theophile, lliis latter may 
Herr waltfaer von der vogilweide, &c. be die same referred to below. Adan 
Here bataileth in song, &c. However, de la Hale iqipears to have lived in the 
should this theory obtain, Solomon, bi- early part of the thirteenth century (Ro- 
shop of Constimce in the tenth century, queflnt, p. lOS), and Jehan Bodel du- 
will perhaps rank as th^ earliest dramas ring the reign of Saint Louis (1226-70). 
tist at present known : Metro primus et These perhaps are the earliest specimens 
coram Regibus plerumque pro ludicro extant of any thing resembling dramatic 
cum aUit certator, Ekkehardus de Casi- composition in the French language. It 
bus S. Galli, p. 49.— Edit. ] is true Mr de la Rue ( Archsid. voL xiv. ) 
^ The boys were degidsiez, stLjs the old has noticed an early drama, which from 
French record : and they had among finding it bound up with a sormon writ^ 
them un FUlette desguiaei, Carpent. ubi ten by Langton, archbishop of Canter- 
supr. V* RoBiNET. PxvTECOSTE. Our bury (in 1207), he is disposed to attribute 
old character of Matd Marian may be to that prelate. But the outline he has 
hence illustrated. It seems to have been given of its contents clearly shows it to 
an early fashion in France for school- be nothing more than a dnunatic dispo- 
boys to present these shews or plays. In sition of the same arguments, which fill 
an antient manuscript, under the year the " Chateau d* Amour** quoted above. 
1477, diere is mentioned ** Certaine Mo- We have there seen, that the author pro- 
juuTX, ou Far^b, que les escolliers de fesses to follow an original of some kind 
Pontoise avoit mt, ^linsi gu*U est de cou" by Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln, Lang- 
stume," Carpent. ubi supr. V. Morali- t'on*s contemporary; and unless we choose 
TAs. The Mtstkrt or thx old and to reject this statement as fictitious, M. 
NEW Testament is said to have been re- de la Rue's conjecture as to the audior 
presented in 1424, by the boys of Paris of the drama b^»mes more than doubt- 
placed like statues against a wall, with- ful. The primate, who was a man of 
out speech or motion, at the entry of the considerable learning, would hardly have 
duke of Bedford, regent of France. See dramatiaed for vul^ readers the my- 
J. de Paris, p. 101. And Sauval, Ant. stic rhapsodies of hu erudite suffragan, 
de Paris, ii. 101. —Edit.] 



ENGLISH POETRY. 81 

hibited in the hall of the royal palace ^ This indeed was a 
subject of a reUgious taidency ; but not long afterwards, in the 
year 1395, perhaps before, the interesting story of Patient 
Grisilde appears to have been acted at Paris. This piece 
sdll remains, and is entitled Le Mystere de Grisildis mar' 
quise de Saluce^^ For all dramatic pieces were indiscriminately 
called Mysteries, whether a martyr or a heathen god, whether 
saint Catharine or Hercules was the subject 

In France the reli^ous Mysteries, often called Piteaux, 
or PiTOUX, were certainly very fitshionable, and of high anti- 
quily : yet from any written evidence, I do not find them more 
atifient than those of the English. In the year 1384, the in- 
^ habitants of the village of Aunay, on the Sunday after the feast 
of Saint John, played the Miracle of Theophilus, ^^ ou quel 
Jeu avoit un personnage de un qui devoit getter d'un canon**." 
In the year 1398, some citizens of Paris met at Saint Maur 
to play the Passion of Christ. The magistrates of Paris, 
alarmed at this novelty, published an ordonnance, prohibiting 
them to r^resent ^ aucuns jeux de personages soit de vie de 
saints ou autrement," without the royal licence, which was soon 
afterwards obtained^. In the year 1486, at Anjou, ten pounds 
were paid towards suf^rtdng the charges of acting the Passion 
of CtfftisT, which was represented by masks, and, as I suppose, 
by persons hired for the purposed The chaplains of Abbe- 
ville, in the year 1455, gave four pounds and ten shillings to 
the Players of the Passion ». But the French Mysteries 

** Felib. torn. ii. p. 681. And Ludus Pebsonao. At Cambray 

^ It has been printed, more than once^ mention is made of the shew of a boy 

in the black letter. Beauchamps, p. 110. larvatus cum mdza in coUo with drums, 

* Caipentier, Suppl. Du Cange Lat* &c. Carpent. ib. V. Kalxndjb Januar. 
OL y. Ludus. ^ " Decern libr. ex parte nationis, ad 

* Beauchamps, ut supr. p. 90. Hiis onerasupportandahujus Misterii.*' Car- 
was the first theatre of ihe French : the pent, ut supr. V. Pebsonaoium. 

actors were incorporated by the king, < Carpent. ut supr. V. Lunus. Who 
mdex the title of the Fraternity of the adds, from an antient Computus, that 
Piusiontfour Samoun Beauch.ibi^ See three shillings were paid by the mini- 
above, Sect. ii. p. 95. n. . The Jeu de sters of a church, in the year 1537, for 
pcrtonagps was a very common play of parchment, for writing Ludus Rxsub- 
^ young bpys in the larger towns, &c. rectionis Domini. 
Caipentier, ut supr. V. Pebsonaoium. 

VOL. II. G 



S2 THEHISTORTOF 

were chiefly perfonned by the religious communides, md some 
of their Fetes almost entirely consisted of a dramatic or per-» 
sonated shew. At the Feast of Asses, instituted in honour 
of Baalam's Ass, the clergy walked on Christmas day in pro- 
cession, habited to represent the prc^hets and others. Moses 
appeared in an alb and cope, with a long beard and rod. 
David had a green vestment. Baalam with an immense pair 
of spurs, rode on a wooden ass, which inclosed a speaker. 
There were also six Jews and six Gentiles.f^ Among other 
characters the poet Virgil was introduced as a g^tile. prophet 
and a translator of the Sibylline oracles. , They thus moved 
in procession, chanting versicles, and conversing in character 
on the nativity and kingdom o£ Christ, through the body of 
the church, till they came into the choir. Vir^ speaks some 
Latin hexameters, during the ceremony, not out of his fourth 
eclogue, but wretched monkish lines in rhyme* This feast wa£^ 
I believe, early suppressed^. In the year 14«4j5, Charles the 
Seventh of France ordered the masters in Theology at Paris 
to forbid the ministers of the collegiate* churches to celebrate 
at Christmas the Feast of Fools in their churches, where the 
dergy danced in masques and antic dresses, and exhibited j^id^ 
sieurs mocqueries spectacles publics^ de leur corps deguisemen^ 
farces^ rigmereisy with various enormities shocking to decency. 
In France as well as England it was customary to celebrate 
the feast of the boy-bishop. In all the collegiate churches of 
both nations, about the feast of Saint Nicholas, or the Holy 

^ Seep. 43. divini servitii larvatos et monstruosos 

^ Marten. Anecd. torn. i. coL 1804. vultus deferendo, cum vestibus mulie- 

See also Belet. de Divin. offic cap. 72. rum, aut lenonum, aut histrionumy cfao- 

And GussanTilL post. Not. ad Fetr. reas in ecclesia et choro ejus ducendo,*' 

Blesens. Felibien confounds La Fete de &c. With the most immodest specta^ 

F<ms et la ^ete de Sotise* Thelatte^was cles. The nuns of some French con- 

an entertainment of dancing called Let vents are said to have had LudiMa on 

Saultes, and thence corrupted into Soties saint Mary Magdalene's and other fes- 

or Sotise. See Mem. Acad. Inscript tivals, when they wore the habits of se- 

zvfL 225 f 226. See also Probat. Hist, culars, and danced with them. Carpentr 

Antissiodor. p. 310. Again, Ihe Feast Ubi supr. V. Kalendje. There was 

of Fools seems to be pointed at in Statut. the office of See StuUorum in. Beverley 

Senonens. A. D. 1445. Instr. tom. xii. church, prohibited 1391. Dugd. Mon. 

GalL Christian. ColL 96. " Tempore iii. Append. 7. 



1 

\ 



ENGLISH POETRY. 83 

Innocents, one of the children of the choir completely appa- 
relled in the episcopal vestments, with a mitre and crosier, 
bore the title and state of a bishop, and exacted canonical 
obedience from his fellows, who were dressed like priests. 
They took possession of the church, and performed all the 
ceremonies and offices^, the mass excepted, which might have 
been celebrated by the bbhop and his prebendaries^. In the 
statutes of the archiepiscopal cathedral of Tulles, given in the 
year 1497, it is said, that during the celebration of the festival 
of the boy-bishop, " Moralities were presented, and shews 
of Miracles, with farces and other sports, but compatible 
with decorum. — After dinner they exhibited, without their 
masks, but in proper dresses, such farces as they were masters 
o^ in difierent parts of the city ^" It is probable that the 
same entertainments attended the scdemnisation of this ridi- 
culous festival in England"* : and from this supposition some 

' In the statutes of Eton-college, gi- * Statut Eccles. Tullens. apud Car- 

ven.1441, the Efiscopui Pukbokum is pent. SuppL Lat. Gl. Du Gang. V. 

mrdered to perform divine service on Kausndjb. 

saint Nicholas's day. Ruhr. xxxi. In ™ It appears that in England, the boy- 

the statutes of Winchester-college, given bishop with his companions went about 

1380, PuBBi, that is the boy-bishop and to different parts of the town ; at least 

his fellows, are permitted on Innocent's- visited the oUier religious houses. As JL> 

day, to execute all the sacred offices in Rot. Comp. Coll. Winton. A. D. 1461. 

tile chapel, according to the use of the " In Dat. episcopo Nicolatensi.'* Tliis 

cfaurdi of Sarum. Rubr. xxix. This I suppose was one of ihe children of tlie 

strange piece of religious mockery flou- choir of the neighbouring cathedral. In 

lished greatly in Silisbury cathedral* the statutes of the collegiate church of 

In the old statutes of that church there S. Mary Ottery, founded by bishop 

is a chapter De Efiscopo choristabum : Grandison in 1337, there is this passage : 

and th^ ProcesdoncUe gives a long and ** Item statuimus, quod nuUus canoni- 

minute account of the whole ceremony, cus, vicarius, vel secundarius, pueros 

edit. Rothom. 1555. choristas in festo sanctorum Innocen- 

^ This ceremony was abolished by a tium extra Parochiam de Otery trahant, 

proclamation, no later than 33 Hen. aut eis licentiam vagandi concedant.'* 

VIII. Brit. Mus. MSa Cott. Tit. B 1. cap. 50. MS. Registr. Priorat. S. Swi- 

f. 208. In the inventory of the treasury thin. Winton. auat 9. In the wardrobe- 

of York cathedral, taken in 1530, we rolls of Ed ward III. an. 12. we have tliis 

have <' Item una mitra parva cum petris entry, which shews that our mock-bishop 

pro episcopo puerorum, &c.** Dugd. and his chapter sometimes exceeded their 

Monast. iii. 169. 170. See also 313. 314. adopted clerical commission, and exer- 

177.279. See also Dugd. Hist. S. Paul's, cised the arts of secular entertainment, 

p. 205. 206. Where he is called Epi- " Episcopo fuerobum ecclesis de An- 

9C0PUS Pabvulobum. See also Anstis deworp cantanti coram domino rege in 

Ord. Gart. il. 309. Where, instead of camera sua in festo sanctorum Inno- 

NihUensisp read Nicolensis, or Nicola- centium, de dono ipsius dom. regis. 

ziNsis. x«i*. virf.^' . 

G 2 



84 THK HISTORY Op- 

critics may be inclined to deduce the practice of our plays 
being acted by the choir-boys of St. Paul*s church, and the 
chapel royal, which continued, as I before observed, till Crom- 
well's usurpation. The English and French stages mutually 
throw light on each other's history. But perhaps it will be' 
thought, that in some of these instances I have exemplified in 
nothing more tlian &rcical and gesticulatory representations. 
Yet even these traces shoidd be attended to. In the mean 
time we may observe upon the whole, that the modern drama 
had its foundation in our religion, and that it was raised and 
supported by the clergy. TTie truth is, the members of the 
ecclesiastical societies were almost the only persons who could 
read, and their numbers easily furnished performers: they 
abounded in leisure, and their very relaxations were religious. 

I did not mean to touch upon the Italian stage. But as so 
able a judge as Riccoboni seems to allow that Italy derived 
her theatre from those of France and England, by way of an 
additional illustration of the antiquity of the two last, I will 
here produce one or two Miracle-Plays, acted much earlier 
in Italy than any piece mentioned by that ingenious writer, or 
Jby Crescimbeni. In the year 1298, on " the feast of Pente- 
cost, and the two following holidays, the representation of the 
Play of Christ, that is of his passion, resurrection, ascen- , 
sion, judgment, and the mission of the holy ghost, was per- 
formed by the clergy of Civita Vecchia, in curia domini pa- 
triarchce Austria civitatis honorifice et laudabiliter^.* And 
again, " In 1304, th^ chapter of Civita Vecchia exhibited a 
Play of the creation of our first parents, the annunciation of 
the virgin Mary, the birth of Christ, and other passages of 
sacred scripture °." In the mean time, those critics who con- 

" Chron. Forojul. in Append, ad Mo- Valle." Muratori, Script. Rer. Ital. v. 8. 

num. Eccl.. Aquilej. pag. SO. col. 1. p. 365.— The chief object of the Cbm- 

[An earlier record of the exhibition jmgna del Confalone instituted at Rome 

pf these miracle-plays in Italy will be in the year 1264, was to represent the 

found in the << Catalogo de* Podestil di Mysteries '< della Pas»one del Reden- 

Padova : In quest* anno (1243) fu fatta tore." Tiraboschi, voL iv. p. 343.-^ 

la rappresentazion della Passione e Re- Edit.] 
surrecione di Christo nel Pra della ** Ibid, page 30. col. I. It is extra- 



ENGLISH POETRY. 85 

tend for the high antiquity of the Italian stage, may adopt these 
instances as new proofs in defence of that hypothesis. 

In this transient view of the origin and progress of our 
drama, which was incidentally suggested by the mention of 
Baston's supposed Comedies, I have trespassed upon future 
periods. But I have chiefly done this for the sake of connec- 
tion, and to prepare the mind of the reader for other anecdotes 
of the history of our stage, which will occiu: in the course of 
our researches, and are reserved for their respective places. 
I could have enlarged what is here loosely thrown together, 
with many other remarks and illustrations : but I w^ unwilling 
to transcribe from the collections of those who have already 
treated this subject with great comprehension and penetration, 
and especially from the author of the Supplement to the Trans- 
lator's Prefece of Jarvis's Don Quixote p. I claim no other 
merit from this digression, than that of hayfag coUected some 
new anecdotes relating to the early state of the English and 
French stages, the original of both which is intimately con- 
nected, from books and manuscripts not easily found, nor often 
examined. These hints may perhaps prove of some service to 
those who have leisure and inclination to examine the subject 
with more precision. 

ordinary, that the Miracle-plays, even in ^ See also Doctor Percy*s veiy inge- 
the churches, should not cease in Italy nious Essay on the origin of the £n- 
iill the year 1660r gush Stage, &c. 



86 THEHISTORYOF 



SEC T I O N VII. 



JcjDWARD the Third was an illustrious example and patron 
of chivalry. His court was the theatre of romantic elegance. 
I have examined the annual rolls of his wardrobe, which re- 
cord various articles of costly stuffs ddivered occasionally for 
the celebration of his tournaments; such as standards, pen- 
nons, tunics, caparison's, with other splendid furniture of the 
same sort : and it appears that he commanded these solemni- 
ties to be kept, with a magnificence superior to that of former 
ages, at Litchfield, Bury, Guildford, Eltham, Canterbury, and 
twice at Windsor, in little more than the space of one year*. 
At his triumphant return from Scotland, he was met by two 
hundred and thirty knights at Dunstable, who received their 
victorious monarch with a grand exhibition of these martial 
exercises. He established in the castle of Windsor a fraternity 
of twenty-four knights, for whom he erected a round table, 
with a round chamber still remaining, according to a similar 
institution of king Arthur**. Anstis treats the notion, that 
Edward in this establishment had any retrospect to king Ar- 

' Comp. J. Cooke, Provisoris Magn. cam et scutum operata cum dictamine 

Garderob. ab ann. 21 Edw. III. ad ann. Regis, 

23. supr. citat. I will give, as a sped- " Hay Hay the wythe swan 

men, ibis officer's accompt for the tour- By Godes saule I am thy man,** 

nament at Cantexbury. *' Et ad fa- ** Et croparium, pectorale, testaiimn, et 

ciendum diversos apparatus pro corpore arcenarium extencellata cum argento. 

regis et suorum pro hastiludio Cantua- Et ad parandum L tunicam Regis, et i. 

riensi, an. reg. xxii. ubi Rex dedit octo docam et capudam cum c. garteriis 

hemesia de syndoneynde facta, etvapu^ paratis cum boucles, barns, et penden* 

lata de armis dom. Stephani de Co63m^. tibus de argento. Et ad £Eidendum unum 

ton milltis, dominis prindpibus comiti dublettum pro Rege de tela linen ha« 

liancastriae, comiti Suffoldae, Johanni bente, circa manicas et fimbriaro, unam 

de Gray, Job. de Beauchamp, Roberto borduram de panno longo viridi opera- 

Maule, Job. Cbahdos, et dom. Rogero tam cum nebulis et vineis de auro, ct 

de Beauchamp. Et ad fadendum unum cum dictamine Regis. It is a$ U 15.'* 

harnesium de bokeram albo pro rege, Merabr. xi. [A. D. 1349.] 

cxtcncellato cum argento, viz. tuni- ^ Walsing. p. 117. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 87 

thur, as an idle and l^ndary tradition <^. But the &me of 
Arthur was stiQ kept alive, and continued to be an object of 
veneration long afterwards: and however idle and ridiculous 
the &bles of the rouijd table may appear at present, they were 
then not only universally known, but firmly believed. Nothing 
could be more natural to such a romantic monarch, in sudi an 
age, than the renovation of this most antient and revered in- 
stitution of chivalry. It was a prelude to the renowned (xrder 
of the garter, which he soon afterwards founded at Windsor, 
during the ceremonies of a magnificent feast, which had been 
prockumed by his heralds in Germany, France, Scotland, 
Burgundy, Heynault, and Brabant, and lasted fifteen days^. 
We must not try the modes and noticms of other ages, even if 
they have arrived to some degree of refinement, by diose of our 
own. Nothing is more probable, than that this latter foundation 
of Edward the Third, took its rise firom the exploded story of the 
garter of the countess of Salisbury ^ Sudi an origin is inter- 
woven with the manners and ideas of the times^ Their atten- 
tkm to the fiiir sex entered into every thing. It is by no means 
unreasonable to suppose, that the fimtastic collar of Esses, worn 
by the knights of this Order, was an allusion to her name. 
Froissart, an eye-witness and wdl acquainted with the in- 
trigues of the court, relates at large the king^s affection for the 
countess; and particularly describes a grand carousal which 
he gave in consequence of that attachment ^ The first festival 
of this order was not only adorned by the bravest champions 
of Christendom, but by the presence of queen Philippa, Ed- 

* Ord. Oart. ii. 92. this place help obaervinff, thatthe fan- 

* Bamesy L ch. 22. p. 292. Froissart^ tastic humour of unridming embleina- 
c 100. Anstis ut supr. tical mysteries, supposed to be concealed 

* Aflfamole proves, that the orders of under ^ ensigns and arms, was at length 
the AnmmciadOf andrf the Toison tV Or, carried to such an extraTacance, at least 
had the Uke origin. Ord* Oart. p. 180. in England, as to be checked by the le- 
ISl. BTen in the enngns of the order gislature. By a statute of queen Elisa- 
of the Holy Ghost, founded so late as beth, a severe penalty is hud, ** on ali 
1578, some love-mysteries and emblems fond {fantastical prophecies upon or by 
were concealed under cyphers introduced the occasion of any arms, fields, beastesy 
into tile Uasonrie. See Le Laboureur, badges, or the like things accustomed 
Contin. des Mcim. de Castelnau, p. 895. in arms, cognisaunces, or signetts,*' &c» 
" Ily eut plus de mysteres d'amourettes Statut. v. £liz. ch. 15. A. I^ 1564. 

que de religion" &c. But I cannot in ' Ubi supr. 



88 THEHISTORYOF 

ward's consort, accompanied with three hundred ladies of 
noble families^. The tournaments of this stately reign were 
constantly crowded with ladies of the first distinction; who 
sometimes attended them on horseback, armed with daggers, 
and dressed in a succinct soldier-like habit or uniform prepared 
for the purpose K In a tournament exhibited at London, sixty 
ladies on palfiies appeared, each leading a knight with a gold 
cham. In this manner they paraded from the Tower to Smith- 
field ^ Even Philippa, a queen of singular el^ance of man- 
ners^, partook so much of the heroic spirit which was univer- 
sally difihsed, that just before an engagement with the king of 
Scotland, she rode round the ranks of the English army ai- 
couraging the scddiers,^ and was with som^ difficulty persuaded 
or compelled to relinquish the field K The countess of Mont- 
fort is another eminent instance of female heroism in this age* 
When the strong town of Hennebond, near Rennes, was be- 
sieged by the French, this redoubted amazon rode in complete 
armour firom street to street, on a large courser, animating the 
garrison™. Finding firom a high tower that the whole French 

' They soon aflterwards regularly re- Reformation generally << had the most 

ceived robes, with the knights compa- beautiful women of the greatest quality 

nions, for this ceremony, powdered with in their view, when they made statues 

garters. AshmoL Ord. Gart. 217. 594. and figures of her." ibid. p. 550. 

And Ansds, iL 123. * Froissart, i. c 138. 

*^ Kny^ton, Dec. Script p. S597. " Froissart says, that when the English 

' Froissart apud Stowe's Surv. Lond. proved victorious, the countess came out 

p. 718. edit 1616. At an earlier period, of the castle, and in the street kissed Sir 

the growing gallantry of the times ap- Walter Manny the English general, and 

pears in a public instrument It is in his captains, one after anotl^, twice or 

the rdgn of Edward the First Twelve thrice, comme noUe et valliarU dame. On 

jurymen depose upon oath the state of another like occasion, the same historian 

the king's lordship at Woodstock : and relates, that she went out to meet the 

amone other things it is solemnly i^ited, officers, whom she kissed and sumptu- 

that Henry the l^cond often resided at ously entertained in her castle, i. c 86^ 

Woodstock, *< pro amore cujusdam mu-. At many magnificent toiumaments in 

lieris nomine Rosamunda." Heame*s France, the ladies determined the prize. 

Avesbury, Append, p. 331. See Mem. anc Cheval. i. p. 175. seq. 

^ And of distinguished beauty. Heame p. 223. seq. An English squire, on the 

says, that the statuaries of those days used side of the French, captain of the castle 

to make queen Philippa a model for their of Beaufort, called himself fe PoursuipafU 

images of the Virgin Mary. Gloss. Rob. (Tamourt in 1369. Froissart, L i. c 64. 

Brun. p. 349. He adds, that the holy In the midst of grand engagements be- 

virgin, in a representation of her assump- tween the French and En^ish armies, 

tion was constantly figured joung and iniien perhaps the interests of both na> 

beautiful ; and that the artists before the tions ore vitally concerned, Froissart 



. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 89 

anny was engaged in the assault, she issued, thus completely 
accoutred, through a convenient postern at the head of three 
hundred chosen soldiers, and set fire to the French canip°. 
In the mean time riches and plenty, the effects of conquest, 
peaces and prosperity, were spread on every side; and new 
luxuries were imported in great abundance from the ccmquered 
Qountries. There were few families, even of a moderate con- 
dition, but had in their possession precious articles of dress or 
iomiture; such as silks, fur, tapestry, embroidered beds, cups 
of gold, silver, porcelain, and crystal, bracelets, chains, and 
necklaces, brought fix)m Caen, Calais, and other opulent 
foreign cities^. The increase of rich furniture appears in a 
foregoing reign. In an act of Parliament of Edward the 
Ilrst^, are many regulations, directed to goldsmiths, not only 
in London^ but in other towns, concerning the sterling allay 
of vessels and jewels of gold and silver, &c. And it is said^ 
" Gravers or cutters of stones and seals shall give every one 
their just weight of silver and gold." It should be remem- 
bered, that about this period Europe had opened a new com- 
mercial intercourse with the ports of India "i. No less than 
eight sumptuary laws, which had the usual effect of not being 
observed, were enacted in one session of parliament during 
this reign''. Amid these growing elegancies and superfluities, 
foreign manners, especially of the French, were perpetually 
mcreasing ; and the native simplicity of the English people 
was perceptibly corrupted and effaced. It is not quite uncer- 
tain that masques had their beginning in this reign '• These 
shews, in which the greatest personages of the court oflen bore 

nres many instances of officers entering Manny, in 1343, in attacking the castle 

into separate and personal combat to dis- of Guigard exclaims, '* Let me never b^ 

pute tl^ beauty of di.eir respective mis- beloved of my mistress, if I refuse this 

tresses. Hist.-1. ii. ch. 33. 43. On this attack," &c. Froissart, i. 81. 

occasion an ingenious French writer ob- ^ Froissart, i. cBO. Du Chesne, p.556. 

serves, that Homer's heroes of antient Mezeray, ii. 3. p. 19. seq. 

Greece, are just as extravagant, who in ° Walsing. Ypodigm. ]21. Hist. 159. 

die heat of the fight, often stop on a ^ A.D. 13(XX Edw. I. an. 28. cap. xx. 

sudden, to give an account of the genea- ^ Anderson, Hist Comm. i. p. 141. 

logy of themselves or of their horses. ** Ann. 37 £dw. III. cap. yiii. seq. 

Mem. ane. Cheval. ubi supr. Sir Walter * See supr. p. 71, 72. 



90 THE HISTORY OF 

a part, and which arrived at their height in the reign of Henry 
the Eighth, encouraged the arts of address and decorum, and 
are symptoms of the rise of polished nianners^ 

In a reign like this, we shall not be surprised to find such 
a poet as Chaucer : with whom a new era in English poetry 
b^ins, and on whose account many of these circumstances are 
mentioned, as they serve to prepare the reader for his cha-* 
racter, on which they throw no inconsiderable light 

But before we enter on so ample a field, it will be perhaps 
less embarrassing, at least more consistent with our prescribed 
method, if we previously display the merits of two or three 
poets, who appeared in the former part of the rdgn of Edward 
the Third, with other incidental matters. 

The first of these is Richard Hampole, an eremite of the 
order of saint Augustine. He was a doctor of divinity, and 
lived a solitary life near the nuns of Hampole, four miles firom 
Doncaster in Yorkshire. The neighbourhood of this female 
society could not withdraw our recluse firom his devotions and 
his studies. He flourished in the year 1S49". His Latin 
theological tracts, both in prose and verse, are numerous; in 
which Leland justly thinks he has displayed more erudition 
than eloquence. His principal pieces of English rhyme are a 
Paraphrase of part of the Book of Job, of the Lord's Prayer, of 
the seven penitential Psabns, and the Pricke of Conscience. 
But our hermifs poetry, which indeed firom these tides pro- 
mises but littie entertainment, has no tincture of sentiment, 
imagination, or elegance. The following verses are extracted 
firom the Pricke of Conscience, one of the most comnuxi 
manuscripts in our libraries, and I prophesy tiiat I am its last 
transciriber. But I must observe first, Aat this piece is divided 
into seven parts. L Of man's nature. IL Of the world. 
IIL Of death. IV. Of purgatory. V. Of the day of judg- 

^ This spirit of splendor and gallantry Wtkebam, p. 222. See also Holfingsh. 

was continued in the reign of his sue- Cfaron. sub ann. 1399. p. 508. col. 1. 

cessor. See the genius of that reign ad- " Wliarton^ App. adCave, p. 75. S^ecuL 

niirably characterized, and by the hand Wicklev. 
of a master, in bbhop Lowth*s Life op 



ENGLISH POETRir. 91 

mesnt VI. Of the torments of hell. VIL Of the joys of 
heaven ^. 

Monk3mde [mad] to [do] godus wille, 

And alle his biddyngus to fulfiUe. 

Ffor of al his makyng more and les, 

Man most principal creature es. 

All that he made for man hit was done, 

As ye schal here aftir [sone]* 

God to monkynde had gret love, 

When he ordeyned to monnes behove, 

This world and heven hym to glade. 

[Here]* in myddulerd mon last he made, 

To his likenes in feire stature; 

To be most worthy creature, 

Beforen all creatures of kynde. 

He yef hym wit skile and mynde, 

Ffor too knowe bothe good and ille : 

And als he yaf him a fre wille, 

Fforto chese^and forto holde. 

Good or yvel whedur he wolde; 

And as he ordeyned mon to dwelle, 

To lyve in erthe in flesscTi and feU, 

To knowe his workus and hym worshepe. 

And his comaundement to kepe. 

And yif he be to god buxome. 

To endeles blis aftir to come. 

And yif he wrongly here wende. 

To peyne of helle withouten ende. 

^ SnuuLUS CoNsciBNTiiB tl^i boke ys Consdence" (oo« 548) agrees so closely 

wmyd, MS. AshmoL foL No. 41. There botk in matter and orthography with thi^ 

is mudi transposition in this copy. In contained iti the Ashmole fibrary, that 

MS. Digb. BibL BodL 87. it is called little doubt can be entertained but one 

The Kst of knowing. Fnnc has been copied from the other. The few 

,!» •_* i.*v ii.j 1 '^s variations noticed in the text have arisen 

^ ^om of tSL LfS witti ^^* P'^^ly fr*'"^ inattention in the 
ine wisdom ot the sone al witti. transcriber— Edit.] 

[TheLansdownc J!HS. of the « Prickeof 



» lone. W. « there. W. 



92 THEHISTORYOF 

God made to his owne likenes, 
Eche mon Ijndng here more and les ; 
To whom he hath gyven wit and skil, 
Ffor to khowe bothe good and il, 
And wille to [chese*] as they vouchsave, 
Good or evil whether thei wole have. 
He that his wille to good wole bowe, 
God wole hym with gret mede allowe ; 
He that wukudnes wole and wo, 
Gret peyne shall he have also. 
That mon therfore holde [I]* for wood, 
That chesuth the evel and leveth the good. 
God made mon of most dignite, 
Of all creatures most fre, 
And namely to his owne liknes, 
As bifore tolde hit es, 
And most hath gyven and yit gyveth, 
Than to any creature that Ijrveth ; 
And more hath het hym yit therto, 
Hevene blis yif he wel do. 
And yit when he had don amys, 
And hfulde lost that ilke blis, 
God tok monkynde for his sake. 
And for his love deth wolde take. 
And with his blod boughte hem ayene. 
To his blisse fro endeles peyne. 
Prima Pars de Miseria Human-e Conditionis. 
Thus gret love God to man kidde. 
And mony goode dedus to hym didde. 
Therefore eche mon lemd and lewed, 
Schulde thynke on love that he hem schewed, 
And these gode dedus holde in mynde, 
That h^ thus dide to monkynde ; 
And love and thanke hym as he con, 
And ellus he is imkynde mon, 



3 these. W. 4is. W. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 95 

Bot he serve hym day and nyght, 

And his yifles usen hem right, 

To spende his wit in godus servyse; 

Certainly ellus he is not wise, 

Bot he knowe kjmdely what god es, 

And what mon is that is les. 

[How]^ febul mon is soule and body, 

[How] strong god is and myghty, 

[How] mon greveth god that doth not welle^ 

[How] mon is worthi therefore to fele^ 

[How] mercyfiill and gracious god is, 

And [how] fiill of alle goodness, 

[How] right wis and [how] sothfiiste, 

What he hath done and shal atte laste^ 

And eche day doth to monkynde. 

This schulde eche mon have in mynde, 

Ffor the rihte waye to that blis, 

That leduth mon thidur that is [wis]% 

The waye of mekenes principally, 

To love and drede god almighty. 

This is the waye into wisdome. 

Into whuche waye non may come, 

Withouten knowing o£gpd here, 

His myghtus and his workes sere. 

But ar he to that knowyng wynne, 

Hymself he mot knowe withynne. 

Ellus knowyng may not be. 

To wisdom way non entre. 

Some han wit to undurstonde. 

And yit thei are fid unknowonde. 

And some thing hath no knowyng. 

That myght them sture to good Ijnmig. 

Tho men had nede to leme eche day. 

Of men that con more then thay. 

That myhte to knowynge hem lede^ 

In mekenes to love god aiid drede. 

» In this and^the six following lines Warton reads ** thou." • this. W. 



94 THE HISTORY OF 

Which is waye and goode wissyng, 

That may to heven blis men brynge. 

In gret pil [peril] of sowle is that mon, 

That hath wit, mjnide, and no good con. 

And wole not leme for to knawe. 

The workus of god and hi».lawe. 

He nyle do aihirmest no lest, 

Bot lyveth lyke an unskilfbll best, 

That nouther hath skil, wit, nor mynde. 

That mon lyveth ayeyn hisikynde, 

[Hyt]'' excuseth not his unknowyng, 

That his wit useth not in leryng, 

Namely in that him oweth to knowe. 

To meke his herte and make it lowe. 

The miknowyng schulde have wille. 

To leme to know £bothe] good and ille. 

He that ought con, schulde lere more. 

To knowe al that nedeful wore. 

For the unknowyng by leming, 

May brought be to understondyng. 

Of mony thyngus to knowe and se 

That hath bin, is, and shal be. 

And so to mekenes sture his wille. 

To love and drede god and leve al ille. 

Mony ben glad triful to here, 

And vanitees woU gladly lere ; 

Bisy they bin in word and thought, 

To leme that soul helputh nought ; 

Bot that that nedeful were to knowe. 

To here they are wondur-slowe. 

Therefore con thei nothing se. 

The pereles [that] thei schulde drede and fle. 

And what weye thei schulde take, 

And whiche weye thei schulde forsake, 

No wondur is though thei go wronge. 

In derknes of unknowyng they gonge ; 

7yit. W. 



ENGLISIf POETRY. 95 

Without light of undurstondynge, 
Of that that falluth to right knowynge. 
Therefore eche cristen mon and wommon. 
That wit and wisdom any con, 
That [con]* the righte weye not sen, 
Nor flie the periles that wise flen, 
Schulde buxom be and bisy, 
To heren and leren of hem namely, 
That i^urstonden and knowen [skyl]^ 
Wheche weye is good and wheche is il. 
He that wole right weye of ly ving loke^ 
Shall thus bigynne, seith the boke : 
To know first what hymself is; 
So may he come to mekenys, 
That ground of all virtues is last, 
On whiche all virtues may be stedefast 
He that knoweth well and con se, 
What he is, was, and schal be, 
A wisere man may be told, 
Whethur he be young or old, 
Then he that con al other thing, 
And of hymself hath no knowyng. 
He may no good knowe, ny fele, 
Bot he furst knowe hym selven wele. 
Therfore a mon schulde furst lere. 
To knowe hymself propurly here. 
Ffor yif he knewe hymself kyndely. 
Then may he knowe god almighty. 
And on [hys] endyng thinke schulde he. 
And on the last day that schal be. 
Knowe schulde he what this worlde es, 
Full of pompe and lecherousnes. 
And leme to knowe and thynke with alle. 
What schal aftir this lyf bifalle. 
Knowyng of this schulde hym lede. 
To mete with mekenes and with drede. 

8 tOU. W. 9 stil. W. 



96 THE HISTORY OP 

So may he come to good lyvyng, 

And atte last to good endyng. 

And when he of this worlde schal wende, 

Be brought to blis withouten ende. 

The bigynnyng of this proces, 

Right knowyng of a mon hymself hit es, 

Bot somme mon han gret lettynge, 

That thei may have no right knowynge. 

Of hemselfe that thei schulde first knawe, 

That first to mekenes schulde hem draw. 

Ther of [foure] *® thyngus I fynde, 

That monnes wit makuth ofte blynde. 

And knowjmg of hymself hit lettuth. 

Wherefore he hymself foryetuth. 

To this witnes Bernard answers, 

And tho four are written in thes vers*, &c. 

In the Bodleian library I find three copies of the Pricke 
OF Conscience very different from that which I have just 
cited. In these this poem is given to Robert Grosthead 
bishop of Lincoln, above mentioned y. With what probabi- 
lity, I will not stay to enquire; but hasten to give a specimen. 
I will only premise, that the language and hand-writing are of 
considerable antiquity, and that the lines are here much longer. 
The poet is describing the future rewards and punishments of 
mankind. 

The goode soule schal have in his herynge 
Gret joye in hevene and grete lykynge : 
Ffor hi schulleth yhere the aungeles song. 
And with hem hi schulleth ^ synge ever among. 
With delitable voys and swythe clere, 
And also with that hi schullen have [there] ^ 

* Compare Tanner,' Bibl. p.375.coL 1 . « The migt of the fader of heVene 

And p. 374. coL 1. Notes. And Oeost- Hie wit of his son with his giftes 

HEAD. AndMSS.Ash.52.pergamen.4tQ, sevene." 

y Laud. K. 65, pergamen. And G. SI. z t, n 

And MSS. Digb. 14. Princ. ^'**"' 



'" some. W. * ire— and rendered, ever, alwat/s. W. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 



97 



All other maner of ech a melodye, 

0£Pwell lykyng Boyse and me&stralsye, 

And of al maner tenes^ of musike, 

The whuche to mannes herte^ migte like, 

Withoute eni maner of travayle, 

The whuche schal never cesse ne fayle : 

And so schil^ schal that noyse bi, and so swete. 

And so delitable to smale and to grete. 

That al the melodye of this worlde heer 

That ever was yhuryd ferre or neer 

Were therto bote** as sorwe* and care 

Tq the blisse that is in hevene well zare^. 

Of the contrarie of that blisse. 

Wei grete sorwe schal the synfolke^ bytyde^ 

Ffor he schullen yhere in ech a syde**, 

Well gret noyse that the feondes^ willen make, 

As thei al the worlde scholde alto schake; 

And alle the men lyvynge that migte hit yhure, 

Scholde here wit*^ loose, and no lengere ajyve dure '. 

Thanne hi"' schulleth for sorwe here hondes wringe, 

And ever weilaway hi schullethe be cryinge, &c. 

The gode men schullethe have worschipes grete, 

And eche of them schal be yset in a riche sete, 

And ther as kynges be ycrownid fejore^ 

And digte with riche perrie'' and so ysetun^ in a chayre, 

And with stones of vertu and preciouse of choyse^ 

As David'[thus sayth*] to god with a mylde voyse, 

Postdstij domine^ super caput eorunif &c. 

" Lorde," he seyth, " on his heved thou settest wel arigt 
A coronne of a pretious ston richeliche ydigt'' 



^ tunes. 



'aimers. 



VOL. II. 



« shriU. •» but 

'prepared. 
^ dtlier side. 

^beorte, W. 



* devils. 
1 remain. 

* precious stones. 



^ senses, 
"they, 
''seated. 



3 thy said. W. 



H 



98 THEHISTORYOF « 

[Ac*] SO fayre a coronne nas never non ysene. 

In this worlde on kynges hevedeP, ne on quene: 

Ffor this coronne is the coronne of blisse, 

And the ston is joye whereof hi schilleth never misse, 8tc- 

The synfolke schuUeth, as I have afore ytold, 

Ffele outrageous hete, and afterwards to muche colde ; 

Ffor now he schuUethe freose, and now brenne*>. 

And so be ypyned that mm schal other kenne"^, 

And also be ybyte with dragonnes felle and kene, 

The whuche schulleth hem destrye outrigte and dene, 

And with other vermyn and bestes felle, 

The whiche beothe nougt but fendes of helle, &c. 

We have then tliis description of the New Jerusalem. 

This citie is yset on an hei hille, 

That no synful man may therto tille^ : 

The whuche ich likne to beril clene, 

[Ac*] so fayr berel may non be ysene. 

Thulke hyl is nougt elles to understondynge 

Bote holi thugt, and desyr brennynge, 

The whuche holi men hadde heer to that place. 

Whiles hi hadde on eorthe here lyves space ; 

And i likne, as jrmay ymagene in my thougt, 

The walles cff hevene, to walles that were ywrougt 

Of all maner preciouse stones yset yfere% 

And ysemented with gold brigt and clere; 

Bot so brigt gold, ne non so clene. 

Was in this worlde never ysene, &c. 

The wardes of the cite of hevene brigt 

I likne to wardes that wel were ydygt. 

And clenly ywrougt and sotely enteyled. 

And on silver and gold clenly anamayled ", &c. 

P head. ' know. 

** This is the HeU of the monks, which 'come. ^together. 

Milton has adopted. " aumayled. 

i and. W. Sand. W. 



» BNGLISHPQETRT. 99 

The t(»rettes ^ of hevene giete and smale 
I likne to the torrettes of dene ciistale, &c« 

I am not, in the mean time, quite convinced that any manu- 
script of the Pricke of Conscience in English belongs to 
Hampde. That this piece is a translation from the Latin 
appears from these verses. 

Therefore this boke is in Englis drawei 
Of fele^ matters that bene unknawe 
To lewed men that are unkonande ^ 
That con no latyn undirstonde^. 

The Latin original in prose, entided Stimulus Conscij5n- 
TiiE *, was most probably written by Hampok : and it is not very 
likely that he should translate his own work. The author 
and translator were easily confounded. As to the copy of the 
English poem given to bishop Orosthead, he could not be the 

' * tuiretts. For the love of our Lord Jesu Christ now 

' many. Praieth spedally for hym that hit oute 

y ignorant. drow, 

* MSS. Digb. ut supr. 87. ad princip. And also for hym that this boke hath 
[Mr. Ritson conceived this passage iwrite here 
*^byno means conclusive of a Latin ori- Whether he be in water other in londe 
giiud," and inferred that it misht <* be ferre or n^e. 
^thing more tiian [Hampole's] reason Indeed it would be difficult to account 
for preferring English to Latin. ' Lyd- for the existence of two English ver- 
gate, however, con^dered Hampole as a gjons, essentially differing in metre and 
trandator only : language ; though generally agreeing in 
In perfit living which passeth poysie matter, unless we assume a common La- 
Richard hermite contemplative of sen- tin original, Which of these is Ham- 
tence pole's translation, can only be dedded 
Drou^ in En^ishe, the Pricke of Con- by inspecting a copy once in the posset 
science.. Bochas, f. 217. b. sion of Dr. Monro ; and which Hampole 
A J .. . ^ . . . n J u ^u "left to the society of Friers-minors at 

pressackiKwledgmeiitoftheKing sMS. jj„ ^,^pt „hid, h<u> fellen under 

Now have I firste as I undertoke the Editor's notice, makes mention of 

Fulfilled the sevene materes of this boke, Hampole in the text ; nor has he been 

And oute of Latyn I have hem idrawe able to discover any shadow of authority. 

Hie whiche to som man is unknawe, for attributing to this sainted bard, the 

And namely to lewed men of Tngelonde pieces numbered from 6 to 16 in Mr. 

Thai konneth no thinge but Englishe Bitson's BibUographia Poe^tca.— Edit.} 

undirstonde. ^ In the Cambridge manuscript of 

And therfor this tretys ouie drawe Iwalde Hampole*s Paraphrase on the Lord's 

In Engusshe that men undirstonde hit Prayer, above mentioned, containing a 

sholde, prolix description of human virtues and 

And prikke of conscience is this tretys vices, at the end, this remark appears. 

yhote, &c. *' Explicit quidam tractatus super Pater 

H 2 



100 THE HISTORY OF 

translator, to say nothing more, if Hampole wrote the Latin 
original. On. the whole, whoever was the author of the two 
translations, at least we may pronounce with some certainty, 
that they belong to the reign of Edward the Third.* 

Hotter i^cundum Ric. Hampole qid obfit datiovk tit jl ** Tarry thou nottooure.** 

A. D. McccLxxxiY.'* [But the true date They are in the translator's own hand- 

of hisdeath is inanother place, vis. 1348.] writing in the library of C C C Oxon. 

MSS. More, 215. Frinc. MSS. 237. I find other antient mmslft- 

« Ahnighty God in trinite t^^ns of both these pieces. Fterticularlyy 

In ^om is only personnes thre." ^Ae Pricx« of Lov« after Bickard 

. Hdmpol treting of the three degreet of 

The Paraphrase on the book of Joj, fo,^. MSa Ml. Arch. B. 65. f. 109. 

mentioned also before, seems to have ex- ^g ^ proof of the confusions and uncer- 

isted first in Latin prose under the tide of tainties attending the works of our au- 

Parvum Job. The English begins thus: thor, I must ad£ that we have a transir 

<<Lieff lord my soul thou spare.*' lation of his tract Dx Emxndatioks 

In BibL BodL MS& Laud. F 77. 5, "nder this tiUe. Thejbrm qfperfyt Iw^ 

&c &c It is a paraphrase of some Ex- i^gf »*«* ^y Mkhard the hermit wrote 

cerpta from the book of Job. The seven to a recluse named Margarete. MS. Ver- 

PENiTENTiAL PsAiMs begin thus : «M>n. But Margarete is evidently the re- 

duse, at whose request Richard Mi«y n, 

« To god^ worschippe that dere us many years after limpole'sdeath,tnm». 

^"S^ lated the Incsnbium Amoris. These 

MSI^BodLDigb.l8. Hampole's Exfo- observations, to which others mi^t be 

sino IN FsALTERiuM is not uncommon added, are sufiident to confirm the sus- 

in English. It has a preface in English pidons insinuated in the text. Many of 

rhymes in some copies, in praise of the Hampole's Latin theological tracts virere 

author and his work. Pr. << This blessyd printed very early at Paris and Cologne, 
boke tlmt hire." MSS. Laud. F 14, &c. * [Much about the same period. Law- 

Hampole was a very popular writer, rence Minot, not mentioned by Tannery 

Most of his many theological pieces seem wrote a collection of poems on the prin- 

to have been translated into English soon dpal events of the reign of king Edward 

after they appeared : and those pieces the Third, preserved m the Bntish Mu- 

abound among our manuscripts. Two seum. MSS. Cotton. Galb. Eix.— Ad* 

of his tracts were translated by Richard ditions.] 

Miqm, prior of the Carmelites at Lin- [The poems of Minot were published 

coin, sJx>ut the year 1435. The Incen- by Mr. Bitson in 179^ They are no- 

DiuM Amoris, at the request of Margaret ticed hereafter, and a fiew spedmens of 

Hellingdon a recluse. Frinc *' To the his style are given.o£DXT.] 
askynge of thi desure." And De Emsn- 



ENGLISH POETRY. 101 



SECTION VIII. 



X HE next poet in succession is one who deserves more at- 
tention on various accounts. This is Robert Longlande, 
author of the poem called the Vision of Pierce Plowman, 
a secular priest, and a fellow of Oriel college, in Oxford. He 
flourished about the year 1350^ [1362]. This poem contains 
a series of distinct visions, which the author imagines himself 
to have seen, while he was sleeping, after a long ramble on 
Malveme-hills in Worcestershire. It is a satire on the vices 
of almost every profession : but particularly on the coemptions 
of the clergy, and the absurdities of superstition. These are. 
ridiculed with much humour and spirit, couched under a 
strong vein of allegorical invention. But instead of availing 
himself of the rising and rapid improvements of the En^ish 
language, Longland prefers and adopts the style of the Anglo- 
Saxon poets. Nor did he make these writers the models of 
his language only : he likewise imitates their alliterative ver- 
sification, which consisted in using an aggregate of words 

' I have here followed a date com- Of the author he has said in another 

monly received. But it may be observed, place: << The Visions of(i.e. concerning) 

that diere is in this poem an allusion to Fierce Ploughman are generally ascribed 

the fan of Edward the Second. Hie to one Robert Langlimd; but the best 

si^e of Calais is also mentioned as a MSS. that I have seen, make the Chris- 

recent fact; and Bribery accuses Cbn^ tian name ofthe author William, without 

tdence of obstructing tibe conquest of mentioning his surname; so in MS. Cot. 

France. See more m Observations on Vesp. D xvL at the end of page 1, is 

the Fairy Queen, iL § xi. p. 281. this rubric : *< Hie indpit secundus Pas- 

[Mr. Tyrwhitt has shown that the sus de visione Willelmi de Petro Plouh* 

Visicms must have been written after or man.*' And in verse5. of page 2. " ^nd 

during the year 1 362, since they mention tayde sonne, depest thou f the MS. has : 

« the south western winde on Saturday And sayds Wille slepest thou f See also 

at even,** which is thus recorded by the account of MS. HarL 2376, in the 

Thorn, apud Decem Scriptores. << A.D. Harleian catalogue.*' This subject will 

McccLxn. 15 die Januarii, circa horam be considered in a note at the end of 

reqieninim, ventus vehemens notus au- thi» volume.— Edit.] 
stralis Afncus tanti rabie erupii," &c. 



102 THE HISTORY OF 

beginning with the same letter. He has therefore rejected 
rhyme, in the place of which he thinks it sufficient to substi- 
tute a perpetual alliteration. But this imposed constraint of 
seeking identical initials, and the affectation of obsolete En- 
glish, by demanding a constant and necessary departure from 
the natural and obvious forms of expression, while it circum- 
scribed the powers of our author's genius, contributed also to 
raider his manner extremely perplexed, and to disgust the 
reader with obscurities. The satire is conducted by the agency 
of several allegorical personages, such. as Avarice, Bribery^ 
Simony, Theology, Conscience,, &c. There is much ima^a* 
tion in the following picture, which is intended to represent 
human life, and its various occupations. 

And thaii gan I to mete a mervelyous swevene. 
That I was in [a?] wyldymese, wyst I never qwere : 
And as I beheld on hey, est on to the sonne 
I saw a towr on a toft, ryaly emaked, 
A depe dale be nethe, a donjoun therein. 
With depe dykys and dyrke, and dredful of sygth : 
A fayr feld fill of folke fond I ther betwoie. 
Of al maner of men, the mene and the ryche, 
Werkynge and wanderyng, as the werld askyth; 
Summe put hem to the plow, pleyid hem fill seelde. 
In syttynge and sowyng [swonken fiill harde^ :] 
And wan that wastors with gloteny dystroid 
And somme put [hem] to pryde, &c.^ 

The following extracts are not only striking specimens of 
our author's allegorical satire, but contain much sense and 
observation of life, with some strokes of poetry.*^ 

FoL i. a: edit 1550. By Roberte "" F.39. seq. Pass.Tiii. seq.eclit. 1550. 
Crowley, 4to. He printed three editiona [This single passage has been collated 
in this one year. Another was printed with the Harl. MS. No. 3954. On fur- 



[with Fierce Plowman's Credz annex- ther inspection, this manuscript was not 
ed] by Owen Rogers, 1561. 4to. See only found incomplete, but essentiaUy 
Strype, Ann. Reformat i. 135. And varying from the printed copy of Crow- 
Ames, Hist. Print, p. 270. ley. Its orthography has a strong pro- 



• trav^lyd ful sore. MS. 



BN6LISH POETRY. 103 

Thus yrobed in russet, I romed me aboute 

Al a somer seson, for to seche Dowel ^ 

And frayned* fid efte, o(fo}k jthat I mette 

If eny wyghtte wiste^ where Dowel was at inne*^. 

And what man he my^tte be, of many men I askid, . 

Was never wyghtte as I wente, that me wyse couthe^ 

Where this leed^ logged**, lasse other more, 

Til hit bifel on Friday, two freris I mette 

M^istris of the menours^, men of gret witte, 

I halsed hem hendeliche ^, as I hadde lemed 

And preied hem per charite, er thei passeden ferther 

If thei knewen eny countrye or coostes as thei wente 

Wher that Dowell dweltyth, doith me to wyte ' 

For thei ben men of this mold, that most [wide*] walken 

And knowe contrees and [courts*,] and many kynnes"^ places 

Bothe prencis paleis, and pore mennys cotis 

vincial cast; its detuls both of charac- within brackets.— For the gratification 

ter and ^description are frequently mere of the scrupulous antiquary, tlie conre- 

sketches in com^^arison vrith the later sponding passages from Dr. Whitaker's 

visions ; its alliteration^ though often edition, corrected by two MSS. in the 

varying to advantage, is as frequently British Museum, will be given in an 

faulty and confused, and it closes with Appendix to this volume, together with 

the second Passus de Dobet. The re- the Editor's reasons for adopting the 

maining passages have been collated with present text. An examination of the 

the Cotton MS. Caligula A xi. which, laws of Alliterative Metre, &c. will also 

though it has a different commencement be givep.— Edit.] 
from Crowley's edition, was found to ^ Do-well. ^ enquired* 

agree very dosely throughout with the ' lived. 

printed text after the foiuth Passus. In ' inform me. [Crowley constantly 

fact, Crowley's MS. appears to have been reads vn/shi wyshed, &c ; not I conceive 

a very excellent one ; and, with the ex- from ignorance, as asserted by Dr. Whit- 

ception of the orthographiod differences, aker, but in conformity with the ortho- 

which it may be presumed were inten- graphy of his MS. llius the Museum 

tional, ^e printed copy has conferred copy of The Pricke of Conscience reads 

neariy as many favours upon the present ** wysschynge" where the Ashmole MS, 

text as have been gleaned from the Cot- has << wissyng." This must have arisen 

ton manuscript. The latter for the ss^e from the different eniwiciation g^ven th6 

of consistency has been made the basis (double) ss in different counties. In 

of the text; its erroneous or doubtful many parts of Germany the words stein, 

readings— more especially such as of- stehen, &c. arc pronounced as if they 

fended against the alliteration— have were written slitein, shtehen.— Edit.] 
been removed to the notes below, and ** lived. » the friers minors, 

those of Crowley's edition substituted ^ saluted them civilly, 
in their stead. These are all inclosed * know. "* sorts of. 



- wylde. 3 townes. 



104 THE HISTORY OF 

And Dowel and Doevel, wher thei dwellen bothe, 

Amon^ us that man is dwellyng coth [the] mynours^ 

And ever hath as I hope, and [ever] shal heraftir, 

Contra coth I, as a clerk, and c(»nsed to disputen 

And seide hem sothly, Septies in die cadit Justus, 

Sevene sythes^ on the day seith the book, synneth the rightfiil, 

And who so synneth [I say%] doth evel as me thynketh, 

And Doevel and Dowel mowe not dwelle tc^edris. 

Ergo he is nat alwey among you freris 

He is other whiles elles wher, to wisse the peple. 

I sey the my sone, seide the &ere thanne 

Howe sevene sithes the sad^ man on a day synneth, 

Bi a [*forvisneP] coth the frere, I shal the faire shewe 

Let brynge a man in a boot, amydde the brood watir 

The wynd and the watir, and the boot waggynge 

Makith the man many a time, [to fall than to stonde®] 

For stonde [he] nevere so styfe, he [stumbleth'] yf he meveth 

And yit is he save and sound, and so hym behoveth. 

For if he ne arise the rathur, and raughte to the stere. 

The wynd wold with the watur the boot overthrowe. 

And thanne were his lyf lost thorgb laches^ of hymsilve* 

And thus hit falleth coth the frere, by folk here on erthe 

The watir is likened to the worlde, that [waneth®] and wexith 

The goodes of this ground am like to the grete wawes 

That as wynd and wedris wawen aboute. 

The boot is likened to our bodies, that brotel ben of kynde 

That thorgh the fende and the fleisch^ and the freil worlde 

Synneth the sad man a day, sevene sithes 

Ac dedly synne doth he nat, for Dowel hym kepith 

And that is Oharite the champion, chief help ^enst synne, 

For he strengtheth man to stonde, and sterith mannys soule 

* times. * sober ; good. ^ similitude. ^ laiiness. 

^ seide he. ^ an example. 

* Crawly and the HarL MS. read « to fall and to stande.** . A better reading 
is given by Dr. Whitaker <* to fall if he stande.'* Perhaps the original text was : 
to fall and (cuasi, and if) he stand* 

7 tumblem. * wanteth. 



ENGLISM POETRY. 105 

And dolth thi body bowe, as boot doth in the wath*, 
Ay is thi soul save, but if thi silf wole 
Do a dedlye synne, and drenche [so] thi soule 
God wole sofre wel thy slewthe, if thi silf liketh 
For he yaf the to yeresyeves to yeme wel thiself 

And that is witte and frewiUe, to every wyghtte a porcion 

To fleyng foules, to fisches, and also to bestes 

Ac man hath most therof, and most is to blame 

Bat if he worche wel therwith, as Dowel hym techith. 

I have no kynde knowyng coth I, to conceyve al your wordes 

Ac if I may live and loke, I shal go leme bettre 

I bykenne the Crist, that on the crois diede 

And I seide the same, save you from myschaunce 

And yeve you grace on this grounde good men to worthe. 

And thus I wente wyde where, walkyng by myn one 

By [a wide*] wUdemesse, and by a wodis syde, 

The blisse of the briddes, broughtte me a slepe^ 

And undir [a] lynde"^ [on*®] a launde, lenede I me a stounde^ 

To [lyth"] the laiesS that the lovely foules maden, 

Myrthe of hire mouthes made me there to slepe 

The merveilous meteles, me mette^ thanne 

That ever dremyd wyghtte, in world as I wene. 

A much man as me thoughtte, and lik to my silve. 

Com and callid me, be my kinde^ name 

What art thou coth I tho, that thou my name knowest 

That thou wost wel coth he, and no wyghtte bettre 

Wot I what thou art? Thoughtte seide he thanne, 

I have suwid* the this sevene yere, sey thou me no rather ? 

Art thou Thoughtte coth I tho, [thou couldest me wysshe'*] 

Wher that Dowel dwellithy and do me that to knowe 

Dowel and Dobet, and Dobest the thirde coth he 

Am thre fair vertues, and ben not fer to fynde. 

Who so is trew of his tonge, and of his two handes 

-^ lime tree. * a wbile« * listen. ^ dreamed. " awn. * sought 



9 inrilde. *• undir* •* hiren* »« knowest jrwissc. 



106 THE HISTORY OF 

And thorgh his labour and bis londes his lyfiode wynneth ^ 

And is trusty of hys taylyng^, taketh but his owne 

And is nat droijkelew* ne deynous, Dowel him folweth 

DoBET doth ryght thui^ and doith best moch more 

He is low as a lambe, and lovelich of spech 

And helpeth alle men, aftir that hem nedith 

The bagges and the bigurdles, he hath [to brok *^] hem alle% 

That erl avarus helde and his heires 

And thus with mammones money he [hath ^] made hym frendis 

And is ronnen to religion, and hath rendrid^ the bible 

And precheth to the peple, seynt Poulis wordis. 

Libenter suffertis insipientes cum sitis ipsi sapientes, 

[And sufiereth the unwyse, wyth you for to lyve 

And with glad wil doth he good, for so god you hoteth] ** 

DoBEST is above bothe, and berith a bieschopis crms 

And is hokid on that on ende to halie^ men fro helle 

And a pike is in the poynt* to putte adon the [wyked**] 

That waiten eny wickednesse, to do Dowell to tene 

And Dowell [and] Dobet, amonges hem have [ordeyned*®] 

To croune one to be kyng, to reulen hem bothe 

That if Dowell or Dobet, diden ayenst Dobest 

Thanne shal the kynge com^ and [cast*''] hem in yrens 

And but if Dobest [byd*] for hym, there to be for ever 

Thus Dowel and Dobet, and Dobest the thridde 

Crouned one to [be*®] king, to [kepen*®] hem alle 

And to reule the reme, by hire^ thre wittes 

And in none other wbe, but as thei thre assenteth. 

I thanked T^ouGHTTE tho, that he me [thus] taughtte 

And [yet^] .savoreth me noght thi segge, I covyt to leme, 

r 

y gctts. * dealing ; reckoning. *' translated. '' draw, 

* drunkard. ** broke to pieces. * stafi. • ' * their. 



*2 broken. '3 had. ** For these two lines the MS. reads 

" And to the unwise ye don good for so god you hotith." 

»5 helle. »^ ordeyneth. »7 putte. « dide. >» thg, 

•9 helpe. 2" aright :— perhaps we should read " Ac aright" 



ENGLISH POEtRYi 



107 



How Dowel, Dobet, and Dobest, don among the peple 

But Witt con wisse the ^ coth Thouohtte, wer thei * iii dwellen 

Els wot I noon that can the telle, that now lyvetb. 

Thoughtte and I thus, thre dales [we] yeden ^ 

Disputing upon Dowell, day afldr othir. 

And er we wer war, with Witte ganne we mete 

He was long and lene, liche to non othir 

Was no pride on his apparail, ne povert neither 

Sadde c^his semblant, and of softe chere 

I durst mene no mater, to make hym to japgle. 

But as I bad Thoughtte tho be mene bytwene 

And put forth some purpose, to preve his wittes 

What was Dowel fro Dobet, and Dobest fram hem bothe. 

Thanne Thoughtte in that tyme, ^leide these wordes 

Where Dowel, Dobet, and Dobest [ben^] ialonde 

Here is wille wold wite, if Witt eolith teche h^m ' 

And whather he be man or [woman*^^] this man [fain] wold aspie 

And worchen as thei thre wplde, diis is his entente, 

Syre Dowel dwelUth coth Witt, nogt a day hennes 

In a castel that kynde ^ made, of four kyzmes thinges 

Of erthe and of akr is hit made, medled togedris 

With wynde and with watir, wittirly"* eiyoyned 

Kynde hath closed therynne, craftely withalle 

A Lemman° that he loveth, lyk to hym silve 

Anima she hatte, ac Envy hire hateth 

A proud prikiere of Fraunce, prin«^ps hujus mundi 

And wold wynne hire away with wiles and he myghtte 

Ac Kynde knoweth this wel, and kepith hire the bettre 

[And^] doth hire with sire Dowel is duk of these marchis 

Dobet is hire damsel, sire Dowellys doughtier 

To serve this lady leely°, bothe late and ratJieP. 

Dobest is above bothe a bieschopis pere. 



* thee. * they. "^ went. 
' nature. "* cunningly. 



** paramour. 
P early. 



fair lady J [loyally.] 



,10 was. 



^1 nolnan. 



M as. 



108 THE HISTORY OF 

That he bitt mot be don^ he reuleth hem alle 
Akima that lady^ is lad by his leryng, 
Ac the constable of that castel, that kepi^h al the watche, 
Is^ wise knightte withalle, sire Inwitt he hatte 
And hath fyve fair sones bi his jfirst wyf 
Sire Seewel and Saywel^ and Huyrewel the end 
Sir Worchewel with thyn bond, a wyghtte man of strengthe 
And Sire Godfray Gowel, grete lordis forsothe 
These fyve ben y-sette, to save this lady Anima 
Til Kynde come or sendee to saven hire for ever 
What [kins^ thing is KvNnE coth I, canst thou me telle 
Kynde coth Witt is a creatour, of al kynnes thynges 
Fadir and formour of alle, that ever was maked 
And that is the gret god' that bygynnyng hadde never 
Angelis and al thyng am at his wille, , 
Lord of lyf and of lyghtte, of blisse and of peyne 
Ac man is hym most lik, of merke^ and of shafte. 
For thorgh tfie word that he spak, woxen forth bestes 
And made [Adam*^] likest [to] hym self one 
And Eve of his rib bon, withouten any [meane**] 
For he was synguler hym sd^ and seid fedamus 
[As**] who seith more mote herto, than my word one 
My myghtte mote helpe now with my speche, 
Right as a lord shulde make letirs, and hym lackid perchement 
Though he couthe write never so wel, [if he hadde a pen*®] 
The lettre for al the lordship, I lyve were never ymaked 
And so hit iSemyth by hym, as the book tellith, 
Ther hit seith, Dixit et facta sunt 
He moste worche with his word, and his witt shewe 
And in this maner was man made, thorgh myghtte of God al- 
mighty 
With his word and workmanschip, and with lyf to laste 

4 must be done. ' fashion ; similitude. 



** man. ^ mede. ^s and. 

^ Crowlej reads '<if he had to pen" ^ which may be right 



ENGLISH POETRY. 109 

And thus God gaf hym a gosteS of the godhede of hevene 

And of his gret grace, grauntid hym blisse 

And that is lyf that ay shal laste, to al [our] lynage aftir 

And that is the [castel*] that Ktndk made, Caro it hattetb 

And is as moch to mene, as man with a soule 

And that he wroughtte with werke, and with word bothe 

Thojgh myght of the mageste, man was ymakid 

Ynwyttes and Alwittes, closid ben therynne 

For love of the ladie Anima, that lyf is ynempned' 

[Over al in mans body, she walketh and wandreth] 

Ac in the herte is [hir^] home, and [hir^] most" reste 

Ac [Injwitt is in the heed, and to the herte he loketh 

What Anima is lef or loth^, he ledith hire at his wille. — 

Thanne hadde Witt a wyf, that was hote dame Studie,, 

Tliat leve was of lire, and of lith bothe. 

She was wondurlich wrooth, Wytt me thus taughtte 

And al staryng dame Studie, stemliche seide. 

Wei art you wys coth she to Wytt, eny wysdomes to telle 

To flatereris or to folis, that frentik ben of witte 

And blamed hym and banned^ hym, and bad hym be stille 

WyA such wyse wordis, to wissen eny sottis 

And seide. Noli mittere man, Margerye Perlis 

Amonges hogges, that have hawes at wille. 

TTiei don but drevel theron, draf^ wer hem lever*, 

Than al the precious per^ that in paradys wexeth*. 

I seie hit by suche, coth she, that shewen by hire werkes. 

That hem were lever lond^, and lordship on erthe, 

[Or*] richesse [or**] rentis, and reste at hire wille. 

Than al the sothe sawes, that Salamon saide evere. 

Wysdom and wytt, now is nat worthe a kerse*^ 

But if he be carded with coveityse^, as clotheris kemben wolle 

* spirit. ' named. ** greatest * rather. * grow. 

^ unwilling. ' cursed. ^ they had rather. 

^ See Draffesack. Chauc. Unr. p. 33. ° not worth a straw. 

V. 1098. ^ covetousness. 

a»cateL «hJs. 3«of. sUnd of. 



110 THE MiSTOBY OF 

Whoso can coxitreve dieiifrQjrtes^ and conspire wrongea 

And lede forth a love day % to lette wyth treuthe. 

He that such craftis can, to counseil is clefttd oft, 

Thei ledeh I(»rdis with lesjnD^es, and beliyeth treuthe 

Job the gentil in his gestis, gretly wytnesseth 

That wicked men welden the wdthe c£ this world 

And that thei ben lordis of eche lond that out of lawe libbeth 

Quare impii vivunt, b^ie est omnibus qui prevaricantur et in- 

ique agunt 
The sauter seth the same, by suche that done ille 
Ecce ipsi peccatores habundantes in seculo obtinuerunt divitias. 
Loo seith holy lettrur, which lordis ben these [shrewes?^] 
ThiUce that god most geveth, lest good thei delith 
Andiiiostunkynde[be] to the commune, that most catelweldith^« 
Que perfecisti destruxerunt, Justus autem &c. 
Harlotis for her harlotrie, m^ have of here goodes 
And japers and jogelers s, and jangleris of gestis 
And he that hath holy wrytt, ay in his mouthe 
And can telle of Thobie^ fend of the twelve ^x>stles 
Or prechen of [the] penauce, that Pilat fidsely wroughtte 
To Jesu the gentil, that Jewes to drowe : 
Ful litel is he loved, that suche a lesson shewith 
Or daunteth or drawith forth, I do hit on [god] hym silve^ 
But thei*» that feynen hem fooles, and with faytyng' libbedi 
Ayen the laWe of our lord, and liyen on hem silve 
Spitt^ and-spewen, and speken foule wordes 
Drynken and dryvelen, and do men for to iape 
Lykne men, and liyen on hem, that leneth hem no geftes 
Thei kennen*^ no more mynstracy ne musik men to glade 
Than Mundy the muller, of multa fecit deus. 

® lady. {A day appointed for the ami- ^ commands. ' jugglers, 

cable settlement of differences was called *^ they. ' deceiving. 

ai(>ve-<2ay.— Tyrwhitt.] ^ know. 



3* sherwes. 

" The Harl. MS. reads, with manifest improvement of the sense, 

« Or dauntid or drawe forth these discours wite the sothe." 



ENGLISH POETRY. Ill 

Ne were hire vile harlotrie, have god my trowthe 

Sbolde never kyi^ ne knyghtte, ne chanon of seynt Poulis 

Yeve hem to hire yeres-yeve, the yifte of a grote, 

Ac myrtbe and mynstracie amcmgis men is naught 

But lecherie^ and losyngerie*, and losellis talis, 

Glotonye and grete othes, this myrthe thei loveth, 

Ac if thei carpen" of Christ, thise clarkis and thise lewid. 

At the mete in myrthes, whan mynstrelis ben stille 

ITianne telle thei of the trinyte, a tale othr tweyne 

And brjmgen forth a ballid reson, and taken Bernard" to 

witnesse 
And putten forth a presumption to preve the sothe 
Thus thei drjrvelen at hire deys° the deyte to knowe 
And gnawen God wit the gorged whanne hire guttis ben fulle 
Ac the careful** may crye, and carpen at the gate 
Bothe [a-fingred^] and a [farste*,] and for chele^ quake 
Is there noon to nymen hem nere, his noye • to amend 
But houlen on hym as on an hound, and hoten hym go thennes, 
Litel loveth he that lord that lente hym al that blisse, 
TTiat thus parteth withe the pore, a percelle whan hym nedith 
Ne were mercy in mene men, more than in riche 
Mendynauntis meteles S myghtten go to bedde. 
God is moche in the gorge of thise gret maistres. 
And amonges mene men, his mercy and his werkes 
And so seith the sauter, I have seiyen hit ofte. 
Ecce audivimus eam in ef&ata et invenimus eam in campis silve 
Clerkis and other kynnes menj carpen of god faste 
And haven hym mochil in mouthe, ac mene men in lierte 
Freris and faytours, han founden such questions 
To plese wyth proud men, sithen the pestilence tyme 
And prechen at S* Poulis, for pure envye of clerkes 
That folke is nat fermed in the feith, ne free of liire goodes 
Ne sory for hire synnes, so is pryde woxen, 

* lying. "* speak. ** throat. ^ poor. ' cold. 

" S. Bemardf ® their table. • trouble. ' beggars supperless. 

i ' an hungred* ^ a thurste. 



112 THE HISTORY OF 

In religion, and in al the reume, among riche and pore 

That praiers have no power, the pestilence to lette 

And yut the wretches of this worlde, are ncm yware by other 

Ne for drede of the deth, withdrawe naughte of hire pride 

Ne beth plentous to the pore, as pure charite wolde 

But in gajmesse and glotenye, [forglote**] hire good hem silve 

And breken naughtte to the be^^re, as the book tedbeth. 

Frange esurienti panem tuum &c. 

And the more he wynneth and weldeth, welthis and richesses 

And lord of leedis and londis, the lasse good he delith 

Thobie tellith you nat so, taketh hede ye riche 

Howe the book of the bible, of hem berith witnesse, 

£ji tibi sit copia habundanter tribue 

Si autem exiguum Ulud impartiri stude libenter 

Who so hatli moche, [spend manly, so meaneth^] Thobie 

[And] who so litil weldith, reule hym thereaftir, 

For we have no lettre of our lyf, hou long hit shal endure 

Suche lessons lordis, sholde lovye to huyre 

And how thei myghtten most mejme, manliche fynde 

And how nogt to fiire as a [fideler **] or a frere for to seke festes, 

Homlich at other men houses, and haten hire owen, 

Elynge" is that halle eche day in the wyke 

Ther the lorde [iie*^] the lady liketh nat to sitte 

Nowe hath eche ryche a reule ^, to eten by hym silve 

In a privey parlour, for pore mennys sake 

Or in a chaumbre wyth a chymney, and leve the cheef halle 

That was mad for melis, men to eten inne. — 

And whanne that Wytt was yware, what dame Studie tolde 

He[ became*] so [confuse**] he couthe nat loke 

And as dombe as [death *"] he droug him [arere* *'] 

And for no carpyng [I cold**] aftir, ne kneljmg to the grounde 

" strange, deserted. Henry VIII. in lengness since her departure. Heame's 
ft letter ta Anne BuUen, speaks of his £/- Avesb. p. 36a ^custom. ' bai^ 

34 forgutten. 3s dispens moche semeth Thobie; ^ vitelere. 

'7 an£ 3^ was. 99 ysconfited* *^ deef. <* al ayere. 

«« he couthe. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 113 

I my^tte no greyn get» of his grete witds 

But al laughynge he loutid, and loked upon Stodie 

In signe that I shold, biseche hire of grace 

[And when I was war of his wil, to his wife I loutid] 

And seide mercy madame^ your man shal I worthe 

As long as I lyve bothe late and rathe 

[For^] to worchen your wille, the while my lyf dureth 

With [this] that ye k^nne me kyndely, to know what is DowEt 

For thi meknesse man coth she, and for thi mylde speche 

I shal kenne the to my cosyn, that Clergie is hoten ^ 

He hath weddid a wy^ withynne thise sexe monthes 

That is sibbe' to the sevene ars, Scripture is hire name 

Thei two as I hope» after my techyng 

Shullen wisse the to Dowel, I dare hit undir take* 

Thanne was I al so fayn^, as fouP on &ir morwe 

And gladder thanne the gleman^ that golde hath to yifte 

And axid hire the hiye weye wher that Clergie^ dwelte 

And telle me some tokene coth I, for tyme is that I wende 

Axe the hiye weie coth Studie hennes to Sufire 

Bothe wel and woo, if that thou wole leme 

And ride forth by Richesse, and rest nat therynnej. 

For if thou couplestthe therwith to clergie comest thou never, 

And alsd the likerous launde that lecherie hatteth 

Leve hit on thi lift; half, a large myle or more. 

Til thou come to a court, kq)e wel thi tonge . 

Fro lesynges and Uther^ speche, and likerous drynkes 

Thanne shalt thou see Sobrete, and Sympilte of speche 

That eche wyghtte be in wille, his wttte to shewe 

And thus shalt thou come to Qergie that can many thynges 

[Saye hym thys signe**,] that I sette hym to scole 

And that I grete wel his wyf, for I wrot hire many bokes 

And sette hire [to] Sapience, and [to] the sauter I glosid 

^ named. ^ motlier [allied]* *^ harper. ^ learning. 

■ iCfaearfuL" - ** lurd. ^ Wanton. 



« for I. ** telle hym this tokene. 

VOL. II. I 



114j the history of 

Logik I lemyd hire, aild many oth^r ltKwe% 

And alle the mii&ones' t^ niasilf ^ I ihsid birtt to kadw^ 

PlatD the poite, I pul UiHi [iWste} lo btok^ 

Aristotil ^d otb^r Inoe^ to argue I hem taughtt^ 

Grrammer for girles, I gart. first wryte 

And bet hem with a balai}r% bul if tbei itolde \&fnk 

Of alle kyn eifafte% I (^oontiiifetid tolis 

Of oatpeiitrie of kerters. And compassid Masons 

And lernyd hem leevel tatd lyne^ though I loice Ajfmme, 

[Ac**] Tbeolc^e hath t^ited rtie, tesa score tymjrs^ 

The more I muse therynne, the mystiei* l»t sdiilyth 

And the deppei' I dyvyne» the' derker Kie hit thynkefkr 

The artifices and persuasions of th^^ ttiottks t6 pttottit^ d(^ 
nations to their convents, ate thtis hutftdrdnsly ridiculed, hi d 
strain which seems to hate given I'ise to C!fc^tic^s SoitePNot/it*s 
Tale. 

Thanne he asoyled hire sone, and sy then he sayde : 
We haVen a wyndow in a ^otkiftg, wole sitteii us fij hiye, 
Woldest thu gtase that gable, afid grave iherynne dii name, 
Ful siker sholde tht sotde be hevefie to hate, &c. ^ 

f fol. xii. a. 1^. The1;e, and the toUow- lliar is not yet a tile within our wones, 
in^ Ik^ are ^lalrily eopied by Gh&ueeri Mgefi^ we oW Ibnrtie potittd h* &toiiei$» 

^2* 8^ also ih tlw PiM>v«HitAir*4 0»a#» 

And I shall cover your kyrke, and your hw^r mentioned. Sign. JB, iu. A 
doisture do tdakeh* ^^ ^^' 

^ ^ ^ ^jtj ^ ^^ ^^^ no# ancasde ma YMki 

Chaucer, Sompn. T. p. 93. v. 835. with money other els 

edit. Urr. B«*^«lfc flew strokes or hu- With som drtrfi d&tt Cofti d^4iiq>^ <tf 
mour. tfjdvere* 

Yeve me then of thy gcdde to raidce our And again, Sign. A. iii, ibid. 

clo;^ter. And mightest on axMixdiBn as wit^ mo- 
QilOdlfif^fUrltttirfAtMldcfeiiidlfiSflf fli^^ •fHiiM gNi^ 

an' oyster. Thou shddest kndy bifore Chiist In 
Whan othir meU Ifirl^ b<tefi fbtt ^&k Kt cbrnbdd of gbM, 

fSKsbi In te wi& wyndffwe i^esltwM* w^ 
Have ben our fode our cloyster for to nigh in the midd. 

H^ ^ ^ ^ ^ TBaiiS, wydur figiireshaU Be painied 

And yet, god wote, unnethe the fiinda- i„ glass, in the middle of the westwin- 

ment dow,"&e. Birt of this passage hewirflb-. 

F^ourtaid is, ne of our pavement [gee infra, p. 13^.] 

45 Taken from Dr. Whitaker's ediCdn.-^Crowley reads << And,*' which by 
bim appears constantly to have been substituted for << Ac.** 



■ NGLISH POETRY. 115 

C!ofETisB OF C&fetausnesB^ is thusi drawn in the true co- 
louris of satirical pidaa^ihg^ 

And thanne cani C6Y£ttl5£, kail I hym nat disctive^ 

So hungerly and holwe sire hervy hnn Idced, 

H« WM [bitde*®] browed and baborUpped bothe ; 

With two blerid eiycin as a biynde hagge. 

And as ft lethertie pdi^s lolHd his chekes, 

Well sidder than his ehynne thei cheverid tor elde : 

And lis a bond nito df his biuioii his herd was bydrivelid. 

With iln hood on hi^ hed^ [and] a low^ hatte above. 

And in a taunie tabard^ of twelve wynter age, 

Alto toryn and batidy, and full of luys ct^yng; 

fiut yf a louse eouth have lopen the bettre^ 

She shold not have walkid [ott*' the welte,] so was hit thredbar. 

i have be Covetyse, cotib this caitef, I knewe hit never^ 

For summedme I servyd Synune at style. 

And was his prenlis yplyght, his prbfyte to wigrte. 

First i lerned to lye, a leef other tweyne 

Wick^dlich t<J i^e^e. Was niy futst lesson : 

To Wy* and to Winchestw*** I went to the feire 

' tid^4* A e6Sit iti^tuted and eften as « kiha of ^ehn^ 

♦ [ Wy ik ptidbahly WeyMll in Hamp^ to the bishop of Winchester, bv WiHIanl 

fltelB^ i^iit& a l^xfidir^ fah* still silbsists. the Cbngaer or ; who by his char^ per:. 

— AD^rfidlf^] tuitted it to contiiiue for thri^ days. 

^ Antteflily^ bdbr^ tmtiy flouHsftltig Bat in cotisequence of new royal grants; 

iothii #e^e ^stablish^ ftiid the tieces^ Henry the Third prolonged its contihu- 

teHes or dfiiaitieifts of fife, fh>tii the coit- ancd to sixteen days. Its Jurisdictioil 

lenience o^ <iOlhnittniieati<tit itnd the in-^ extended seven miles ronnd, and cmh- 

6r^we of provitidal civility, Cfould b(3 p^hehded even Southampton, then a 

iNTocuredlti tarlotis places, goods find capital trading town : and allmeirdiahts 

coinmo^iies <yf every kind, Were' chiefly Who sold wares wiihin tiiat dirnlt, fbr- 

kMattairh; to Which, £i^ to one uhivei^ ileited them to the bishop. Officers were 

^hiart, the people resorted periodically, placed at a considerable distance^ ^ 

and supplied most of their Wants for the bri^^es atid other avenues Of access tO 

^oSi&iiE tear, like dkptay Of mei'than- the mr, to exact toll of ifll merchandise^ 

^se, and the conflux of customers, at t>^issing liiat way. In the meati time*, 

ihem pnnciimt ahd almost only emporia all shops in the city of Whicfaester wer6 

m doiniesiic commerce, Was prodigious i shut. In the fair Was a court called tii6 

aiidih^ were ther6fbte Often held oil t>&vilion, at which the Mshop^sjusticiaHe^ 

iffh aiid eitdnsi^e plsdns. (yti6 Of the s(nd other Officers assisted, with JKiWet' 

&^ of'iheni seems t6 tiave been tiikt of io tf$^ c^^ of various sorts fchr seven 

Ik. trdes'fi hill or ddwii nedr Wihcfaestei*, itiiles rotihd : ho^ amotig odier singular 

to which our poet here refers. It was claims could any lord of a manor hold 

«• betir. « there. 

I 2 



116 THE krSTORY OF 

With many maner marchaundises, as my maister jme hightte*— 
Than drewe I me among drapers my donet* to [leme,**3 
To draw the lyser along, the lenger hit semyd 
Among the rich raiyes, Sac^ 

a court-baron within the said circuit, flete, [an. 1471.] it aj^pears to have 

without licence from the pavilion, greatly decayed : in which, among other 

During this dme, the bishop was em- proofs, I find mention made of a district 

powered to take toll of every load or in the fair being unoccupied, *' Ubi ho- 

parcel of goods passing through the gates mines ComubUe stare solebant." From 

of the city. On Saint Giles's eve, the whence it likewise appears that different 

mayor, -bailiffs, and citizens of the city counties had their different stations, 

of Whichester, delivered the keys of The whole reception to the bishop this 

the four city gates to the bishop's offi- year from the fair, amounted oidy to 

cers; who, during the said sixteen days, 451. 18s. 5d. Yet this sum, small as it 

appointed a mayor and bailiff' of their may seem, was worth upwards of 4(XV. 

own to govern the city, and also a co- Edward the First sent a precept to the 

roner to act within the said city. Te- sheriff* of Hampshire, to restore to the 

nants of the bishop, who held lands by bishop this &ir ; which his escheator 

doing service at Uie pavilion, attended Malcolm de Harlegh had seized into the 

the same with horses and armour, not king's hands, without command of the 

only to do suit at the court there, but to treasurer and barons of the exchequer, 

be ready to assist the bishop's officers in in the year 1292. Registr. Joh. de Pon- 

the execution of writs and other services, tissara, Episc. Wint. fol. 195b After 

But I cannot here enumerate the many the charter of Henry the Third, many 

extraordinary privileges granted to the kings .by charter confirmed this fair, 

bishop on this occasion ; all tending to with all its privil^es, to the bishops of 

obstruct trade, and to oppress the people^ Winchester. The last charter was of 

Numerous foreign merchants frequented Henry the Eighth to bishop Richard 

this fair; and it appears^ that the justi- Fox and his successors, in the year 151 1. 

claries of the paviUon, and the treasiuer But it was followed by the usual confir- 

of the bisliop's palace of Wolvesey^ re- mation-charter of Charles the Second, 

(^ved annually for a fee, according to In the year 11 44, when Brian Fltz-count, 

antient custom, four basons and ewers, lord of Wallingford in Berkshire, main- 

of those foreign merchants who sold tained Wallingford castle, one of the 

brasen vessels in the fair, and were called strongest garrisons belonging to Maud 

jnttcatores diaunteres. In the fair seve- the empress, and consequenuy sent out 

ral streets were formed, assigned to the numerous parties for contributions and 

saleofdifferent commodities; and called provisions, Henry de Blois bishc^ of 

the Drapery^ihe Pottery , the Spkery, &c Winchester enjoined him not to molest 

^any monasteries,, in and about Win- any passengers that were coming to his 

diester, had shops, or houses, in these fairat Winchester, under pain of excom- 

streets, used only at the fair, which they munication. Omnibus ad feriam meam 

held under the bishop, and often lett by venientUms, &c. MSS. Dodsworth. vol. 

jieasefor atermof years. One place in 89. f. 76. Bibl. Bodl. This was in. 

jthe fair was called Speciarium Sai^cti king Stephen's reign. In that of Richard 

Swythini, or the Spicery of Saint Simthin*s the first, in the year 1194, the king 

Tttonastery, In the revenue-rolls of the grants to Portsmouth a fair lasting for 

antient bishops of Winchester, this fair fifteen days, with all the privileges of 

makes a grand and separate article of Saint Giles's fair at Winchester. Anders, 

reception, under this title« Feria. Conir- Hist. Com. i. 197. In the year 12S4, 

putus jfferuB sancii EgidiL But in the the eighteenth of Heniry the Second, the 

jevenue-roll of bishop WilL of Wayn- fennier of the city of Winchester paiid 



^ lore. These words are frequently confounded, though their distinction is 
equally great with that of cause of effect— Leran A. S, to teach; Leoman A. S. 
to learn. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 117 

Our author, who probaUy could not get fH'efermeiit, thus m- 
Teiglis against the luxury and diversbns of the prelates of his age. 

twenty pounds to Ailward chamberlain in yearly stores of various yet common 

•of Winchester castle, to buy a robe at necessaries, at the fidr of Sturbridge in 

this fiur for the king^s son, and divers Cambridg^hire, at least one hundred 

alver implements for a chapel in the miles distant from either monastery. It 

castle. Madox, Exch. p. 251. It ap- may seem surprising, that their own 

pears from a curious record now remain- neighbourhood, including the cities of 

ing, containing The EUablishmeiU and Oxford and Coventry, could not supply 

Espences of the houshold of Henry Percy, them with commodities neither rare nor 

fifm earl of Northumberland, in the year costly, which they thus fetched at a con- 

1512, and printed by doctor Percy, that siderable expence of carriage. It is a 

tlie stores oi his lord^p's house at rubric in some of the monastic rules, 

Wresille, for the whole year, were laid De EutUiha ad Nundinas, Sec Dugd. 

infiromfiiirs. << He that standes charged Mon. AngL ii. p.' 746. It is hoped 

with my lordes house for the houll yeir, the reader will excuse this tedious note^ 

if he may possible, shall be at all Faibis whidi at least developes antient manners 

whore tile groice emptions shall be and customs. 

boughte for the house for the houUe * Lesson. Properly a Grammar, from 

yeire, as wine^ wax, beifies, multons, JElius Donatus the grammarian. Chau^ 

whdte, and maltie.'* p. 407. This last cer, Testam. L. p. 504. b. edit. Urr. 

quotation is a proof, tiiat fairs still con* ** No passef to vertues oi this Margarite, 

tmued to be the principal marts for pur- but therin al my doriet can I leme." In 

chasing necessaries in large quantities, the statutes of Winchester-college, [writ- 

which now are supplied by frequent tra- ten about 1386,] grammar is called 

ding towns : and die mention of beiffies ** Antiquus donatus, i. e. the o&i dtmatf 

and muttons, which were salted oxen or the name of a system of grammar at 

iuid ^eep, shews that at so late a period that time in vogue, and long before, 

they knew but little of breeding cattle. The French have a book entitfed '< Li 

Their ignorance of so important an arti- Donnst, trait^ degrammaire, baSUi a feu 

de of husbandry, is also an evidence, rot Charles viiL*' Among Rawlinson's 

that in the rdgn of Henry the Eighth manuscripts at Oxford, I have seen Do' 

the state of population was much lower nalus ofttmus tumier compilatus, a ma- 

among us than we may imagine. nuscript on vellum, given to Saint Al- 

In the statutes of Saint Mary Ottery's ban's, by John Stoke, abbot, in 145a 

collie in Devonshire, given by bishop In the introduction, or h/tell Proheme, 

Giandison the founder, Uie stewards and to Dean Colet's Geammaticxs Ruoi- 

sacrist are ordered to purchase annually mxnta,' we find mention made of ** cer- 

two hundred pounds of wax for the choir tayne intioducyons into latyn speche 

of the college, at this fiiir. << Cap. IxviL called Donates," &c Among the books 

—Pro Idminaribus vero omnibus supra- written by bishop Pecock, there is the 

dictisinveniendisyetiamstatuimus, quod Donat into christian religioni and the 

senescalli scaccarii per visum et auxiUum Folower to the Don at. Lewis's Pecock, 

sacriste, omni anno, in nundinis Wtn- p. 317* I think I have before observed, 

ton, vel alibi apud Toryngton et in par- that John of Basing, who flourished in 

tibus Bamstepol, ceram suffidentem, the year 1240, caUs his Greek Grammar 

qaam ad ducentas libras astimamus pro Donatus Gajscoauii. Page's Wkse- 

uno anno ad minus, fadant provideri.*' ham, p* 51. Wynkynde Worde printed 

These statutes were granted in the year Donatus ad JlngUcanarum schokn^m 

1838. MS. apud R^istr. Priorat. S. utum, Cotgrave (in V.) quotes an old 

Swithin. Winton. In Archiv. Wolves. French proverb, <<Les diables estoient 

In the accompts of the Priories of Max- encores a leur Donat, 7^ demls wej^ 

lokein Warwickshire, and of Bicester but i/et in their grammar.** 

in Oxfordshire, under the reign of Henry ^ fol. xxiii a. b. 
the Sixth, the monks appear to have laid 



1L8 THE HISTORY OF 

And ncm is rdigkHi a ridere, a romere bi streetist 

A ledar fif loredfli jes ^ and a loud^ bigeie, 

A prikefe on a paliray from maner to maner, 

An hep of hpundes at his ars as be ^ lord F^re^. 

And but his knave Jmele, that shall hym hys cuppe brynge. 

He loufetb on hyni, and axeth who taugbtte hym purt^ie^, 

lliere is great picturesque humour in the fellowing lines. 

Hui^aER in haste than hent wastour by the maw^ 

And he wrong hym so by the wombe that bodie his eiyen 

wattred: 
He buflfetid the bryUxier aboute the chekes 
That he loked lik a lanterne ^ hi^ lifetyrne.^ 

1 feraclie^* kdie0* [yid. supra p. HO, And tli«n shall tl^e abo^ of AlMiigdpo^ 

^pte *f i '^ lewjl [unportunate.] ^nd |dl his iss|i«^ for ever, 

■ Waller 4« SMSeld, bishop of $^r- Uay^ 9> ^vwi^* of a iciN^, ap4 Vf^- 

vich, bequcaih^s by mU hU padc of »abue tbk wpyvot 

l^to^kinfoml25e.Blo«»^el4'3 Again,foLlxxxT,a. Whereheallndesto 

Kva^'-I&w^":^^^^* thrkSight.te.plen, lately suppressed. 

of tatire* It ppewrs agaiiw foL i^Kvn* a* . " ' Men of hoUe khrlo 

S^ Gbauoer'f TwrAWVMv or Ix»tp> Shall Qirue as ieipplars didf the ijfme 

p. 499. cqL iL IJrr. The arehd^acon ttjiiprocl^h nere, 

of Richmoudy on his Tisitatioo, <Mii|ies Hiis, I suppose, was afinvouiite doctrine 

(o the priory of BridlingtopioYorMlife, in WickH&*s diseoun^s. I eaauotbdp 

1111216, wUh niiiety-^eTeii horses, twenty- taUng notice of a passage in Biers Plov- 

OBedpg»,andt|Mneeh«irl(^J>Ugd. Mon. man^ which shews how the reigning pas. 

II* 0$' sion for chivalry infected the ide^ and 

» F<^ V «• TV Mowing predictioB, expressions of thewritm of Ibis period, 

fllhfliigi) a probable conchuBQB*coQQeni. The poet ia desciibing the aMci6xioii, 

ing a kwg, who af^ a time FQlildpup. and «p«ikiug of Ae penoo who piaroad 

fff$Mik»tf^&PVBhwm^>isrtx^93M^^ our Saviours side with a q»eac This 

I vnagHied it was Ipisted into tb« pe^on our author calls a hd^, and 

l^opieB, In the ffign of king Henry the says that he came forth *f «»<&*«»(»» 

i^hth. 3qt it is in nianuscripu of j»Aa»ui,,,,«£^,,rt»dioWJfeM««.'* After- 

m^ ppen^ older than the year 14Q0. fol. ^^ards fordoing so bas^ an act as that of 

)r 9* b* iroundingadeadbody, he is pronounced 

And raaa shall comk a kino, and con? f^diagraeeialcmghtkood: andour f*Ckam^ 

fesse your reUgions, jmni, chevaler <£]fu$ hnyf^ " is ordered 

Aadbete you as the biUe teHeA, for 4o ^csitf himself tseorfaal. foL IxxxvilL b. 

breking of your rule : Tliis kni^*s name h Longis, and !)• 

And luoaende mooiales, monkes and is blind: but aooeives his sight fkm the 

■clianoines.«» Uopd which ^mngs from our Saviour's 

AndliiealriersiBherfipqFtorahallfynd side. This mhaoM is recorded in the 

a k/^ <GoLDEM Lbcbmdb. He is ealled Lon- 

Of Ctonstantgrnes coflers, in which is the gias, <*A blinde knight men ycallid 

catal LoBgias,'* in Chaucer, Lam. Mar, 

That Gregories godebyldren had it dis- Maga, v. 177. 

pended. <* fvlL xxliL b* 



EMGI.ISH POETRY. 119 

And in ih§ feUoiriag) mb^xt ike Vices ^^ repromitei as con- 
verted and cQifiiiig tP ^i9&S^mm9 fupong whieb Is tbe figure df 
Envy, 

Of 1^ freris frodce weren tfi^ fore sieves, 

And as a leeke |[t)iat] hadde yieye Ipnge in flie sonpe 

So loked he with Jene chdds^ lourynge Coule. ^ 

It would be tedious to ^rain«mlie odier 3tro1^es of tuimottr 
with n^idi ibk poem ^bounds. Before one of the Visions the 
poet falls asleep while he is bidding bis heads^ In another he 
describes Amidirlstt whose bano^ is borne by Pride, as weL- 
comed into a monastery with risking of bells, and a solemn 
congratulajtory procession of all the moidcs marching out to 
meet and receive him. ^ 

These images of mercy ajui truth are in a different strain. 

Out of tb^ w^st Goost, ^ weiidie as me though4^ 
Come wandryng^ m the weie, tGi h^i^^^^d ^e loked ; 
Mercy hyghtte that p^yde^ a melf e ijiyi^g with^Ue, 
A fill benyng Jbt^ir^ .9ii4 buif:ooi of spetche ; 
Hire softer, as hit semyd, come spftly walkyng, 
Evene out of the este, and westward she lokid, 
A ful [comely*^] creature, [Truth *^] she hi^te. 
For the vertu that hire folwid aferd was she never. 
Whanne thise raaydens metten, Mer<y And Treilthe, 
Eyther axid other of iMs grete wondir. 
Of the dene and ©f ^ derknesse, &c. * 

The imagery of Nature or Kjjjdi:, sending forth his dis- 
eases from the planet^, at the command of Conscience, and 
of his attendants Aa? $x\d PMTH,is conceived with sublimity. 

Kynde Conscience tho herde, and cam out of the planetts, 
And sent forth his forreous Feveris, and Fluxes, 

' foL xliL a. ' fol. cxii. a. * fol. Ixxxviii. b. 

« limily. ^ treuly. 



120 THE 'HISTORY OF 

Coughes, and Cardyacles, Crampes, and Tothe-^u^hes, 
Reumes, and Redegoundes, and roynous Skalles, 
Buyles, and Botches, and brennjmge Agwes, 
Frennesyes and foule Evelis^ forageris of Kynde ! 
There was " Harrow ! and Helpe ! here cometh Kynde ! 
With Deeth that is dredfid, to undon us alle !" 
The lord that lyved aftir lust tho lowde criede. — 
{^Jlge the hoore^ he was in the vcm^ardj 
And bare the banner before Death : by ryght he it claimed.^ 
Kynde cam'aftir/ with many kene soris, 
As Pockes and Pestilences, and moch peple shente* 
So Kynde thorgh corruptions, killid ful manye : 
Deeth cam dryvyng aftir, and al to dust [pashed*'] 
Xyngs and knyghttes Kaysours, and popis.— 
Many a lovely lady, and lemmonys of knyghttes, 
Swowed and sweltid for sorwe of Dethi's dentes. 
Conscience, of his curtesye, to Kynde he besoughtte 
To [cease*'] and sofre, and see whether thei wolde 
Leve Pryde prively, and be parfyt Christene, 
And Kynde cecyd tho, to see the peple amende. ^ 

These lines at least put us in mind of Milton's Lazarhouse. " 

Immediately a place 

Before his eyes appeared, sad, noisome, dark : 
A lazar-house it seei^-d, wherein were laid 
Numbers of all diseased: all maladies 
Of gasdy spasm, or racking torture, qualms 
Of heart-sick agony, all feverous kinds, 
Convulsions, epUepsies, fierce catarrhs, 
Intestine stone, and ulcer, cholic pangs, 
• Demoniac phrenzy, moping melancholy. 
And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy, 
Marasmus, and wide-wasting Pestilence : 
Dropsies and asthma, and joint-racking rheiun. 

* fol. cxiii. a. ** Par. L. ii. 475. 

*' pas&id. 5i see. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 121 

Dire was the tossing ! De^ the groans ! Despair 
Tended the sick, busy fixmi coach to couch; 
And over them triumphant Death his dart 
Shook, but dday'd to strike, &c. 

At length Fortune or Pride sends forth a numerous army 
led by Lust, to attach Conscience. 

And gadrid a grete oste, alle agayn Conscience : 

This Lecherie leyde on, with a laughjmg chere, 

And with prive speche, and pejmted wordes, 

Armed hym in idibiesse and in hiegh berynge. 

He bare a bowe in his hand, and many blody arwes, 

Weren fetherid with faire byheste, and many a false treuthe^. 

Afterwards Conscience is besieged by Antichrist, and seven 
great ^ants, who are the seven capital or deadly sins : and the 
assault is made by Sloth, who conducts an army of more than 
a thousand prelates. 

It is not improbable, that Longland here had his eye on the 
old French Roman d'Antechrist, a poem written by Huon 
de Meri, about the year 1228. The author of this piece sup- 
poses that Antichrist is on earth, that he visits every profession 
and order of life, and finds numerous partisans. The Vices 
arrange themselves under the banner of Antechrist, and the 
Vihtues under that of Christ. These two armies at length 
come to an engagement, and the battle ends to the honour of 
the Virtues, and the total defeat of the Vices. The banner 
OF Antichrist has before occurred in our quotations from 
Longland. The tide of Huon de Meri's poem deserves notice. 
It is [Le] Turnoyement de l' Antechrist. These are the 
concluding lines. 

Par son droit nom a peau cet livre 
Qui tresbien s' avorde a 1' escrit 
Le Tournoiement de V Antechrist, 

^ foL cxiii. a. 



182 TH* HISTOl^y OF 

lie aumor appear3 to Hav^ hem » wonk of S^ Oermain 
des Pres, near Baiis. Tbif iell^g^y ia imidi libe that which 
we find m tbfi dd dramatie MouAUtmft, JTm ftiealogy of 
the middle ages abound^ with cwj&c^mm md isoslroversies 
concerning Antichrist, who at a very early period was com- 
monly believed to be the Roman pontiff*. 

^ See this topic discussed with singu- ductort to the Studt of the PiioFHE> 
lar penetration and persplpultyi by dpc- ^ies. XiOnd* )77^* pr 206. seq. 
tor Hurdy in Twelve Sermons Imtro- 



ENOX.1SH POETIIY. 123 



SECTION IX. 



JlO the VjsjON OF PiEjicE PwwMAN hos been commonly 
ajmfPiLpd a poem Ciall^ Piee^i: the Px^owman's Crede, and 
wbicli nfeiy prpperly b^ congidered as its appendage*. Ij is 
professedly written in imitaticm of our Vision, but by a differ- 
^t hwdf The Author, in the character of a plain uninformed 
P^rsPDf pret^ds to be ignorant of his creed ; to be instructed 
m tji^ articles of whi^b, he applies by turns to the four orders 
of Af eodicaPt &iars. This circumstance affords an obvious 
ocpappbp pf exposing in lively cplpnirs the tricks of those socie- 
ties. After m unexpected a disappointment^ he meets one 
Pi^r^ or Pet^r, ^ plpwman, who resolves his doubts, and 
teacher hixH the principles pf true religion. In a copy of the 
C^W;^ lately presented to me by the bishop of Gloucester, ^nd 
pnpe belPRging to Mr* Pope^ the latter in his own band has 
JQserled tb^ Allowing abstr^t pf its plan. << An ignorant 
phm man baying learned bis Pater-noster and Ave-mary, 
wants fe> learn bis creed. He asks several religious men of 
tbe S^eral prder3 to teach it him. Fir^ of a friar Minor, who 
bids him beware pf the Cwnelites, and assures him they can 
i/^a^ bin) nptlnn^ describing their faults, &c. But that the 
^iar^ Minors sbalJ save him, whether he learns his creed or 
nott JJe jgpes nej^t to the friars Preachers, whose magnificent 
monfister^ be describes; there he meets a fat friar, who de- 
plains Against tbe Augn^tines. He is shocked at his pride^ 

* Tlie first edition is by B. Wolfe, Cii. edit. 1561. Walter Britte or Brithe, 

Londmi, UUiS. 4ID. In four Aeets. It afidlpwerof Wickliffie,isaisoiiieii!tioned» 

wff? rej^rint^ .aq4 ad^ed to Rpgers*^, or Signiit. C. iii. Britte is placed by Bale in 

the fbunli edition of the Visiony 1561. It I^. Cent, vu 94. See also FuUer^s 

ivtse«i|dentl^ written ff^r the year 1384. Worth, p* & WcUes* The reader mU 

Wicklifife died in that year, and he is pardon this small anticipation for the 

mentioned as no longer Hving la JSigaat sake of connection. 



124 THE HISTORY OF 

and goes to the Augustines. They rail at the Minorites. He 
goes to the Cannes ; they abuse the Dominicans, but promise 
him salvation, without the creed, for money. He leaves them 
with indignation, and finds an honest poor Plowman in the 
field, and tells him how he was disappointed by the four or- 
ders. The plowman answers with a long invective against 
them.'* 

The language of the Crede is less embarrassed and obscure 
than that of the Vision. But before I proceed to a specimen, 
it may not be perhaps improper to prepare the reader, by 
giving an outline of the constitution and character of the four 
orders of Mendicant friars, the object of our poet's satire : an 
enquiry in many respects connected with the general purport 
of this History, and which, in this place at least, cannot be 
deemed a digression, as it will illustrate the main subject, and 
explain many particular passages, of the Plowman's Crede**. 

Long before the thirteenth century, the monastic orders, as 
we have partly seen in the preceding poem, in consequence of 
their ample revenues, had degenerated from their primitive 
austerity, and were totally ^ven up to luxury and indolence. 
Hence they became both unwilling and unable to execute the 
purposes of their establishment: to instruct the people, to 
check the growth of heresies, or to promote in any respect the 
true interests of the church. They forsook all their reli^ous 
obligations, despised the authority of dieir superiors, and were 
abandoned without shame or remorse to every species of dissi- 
pation and licentiousness. About, the beginning therefore of 
the thirteenth century, the qpndition and circumstances of the 
church rendered it absolutely necessary to remedy these evils, 
by introducing a new order, of reli^ous, who being destitute of 
fixed possessions, by the severity of their manners, a professed 
contempt of riches, and an unwearied perseverance in the 
duties of preaching and prayer, might restore respect to iht 
monastic institution, and recover the honours of the church. 
These were the four orders of mendicant or begging fi'iars, 

^ And of some perhaps quoted above from the Vision. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 125 

commcmly denominated the Franciscanst the Dominicans, the 
CarmeUtes, and the Augustines<>. 

These societies soon surpassed all the rest, not only in the 
purity of their lives, but in the number of their privileges, and 
the multitude of their members. Not to mention the success 
which attends all novelties, their reputation arose quickly to an 
amazing height The popes, among other uncommon immu- 
nities, allowed them the liberty of traveling wherever they 
pleased, of conversing with persons of all ranks, of instructing 
the youth and the people in general, and of hearing confessions, 
without reserve or restriction : and as on these occasions, which 
gave them opportunities of appearing in public and conspicuous 
situations, they exhibited more striking marks of gravity and 
sanctity than were observable in the deportment and conduct 
of the members of other monajsteries, they were regarded with 
the hi^est esteem and veneration throughout all the countries 
(^Europe* 

In the mean time they gained still greater respect, by culti- 
vating the literature then in vogue, with the greatest assiduity 
and success. Gianoni say^ that most of the theological pro- 
fessors in the university of Naples, newly founded in the year 
1220, were chosen from the Mendicants*. They were the 
principal teachers of theology at Paris, the school where this 
science had received its origin ^ At Oxford and Cambridge 
respectively, all the four orders had flourishing monasteries. 
The most learned scholars in the university of Oxford, at the 
close of the thirteenth century, were Franciscan friars: and 
IcHig after this period, the Franciscans appear to have been the 
sole support and ornament of that university^. Hence it was 

' The Franciscans were often styled Oxford stood in an island on the south 

friars-minmrs) or tninorites, and grey- of the ci^> south-west of the Franciscan 

friars: the Dominicans, friars-preachers, friary, the site of which is hereafter de- 

and sometimes bladc-fHars; the Carme- scribed. ® Hist. Nap. xvi. 3, 

lites,white-fHars; and the Austins, grey- ^ See Boul. Hist. Academ. Paris, iii. 

fHan. Hie first establishment of the Do- p. 1 38. 24a 244* 248, &c« 

tpinWiw in England was at Oxford in ^ This circumstance in some degree 

1221. Ofthe Franciscans, at Canterbury, roused the monks from their indolei^cc^ 

Hiese two were the most eminent of the and induced the greater monasteries to 

four orderst . The Dominican friary at procure the foundation of small coUege» 



126 THE HISTORY OF 

that bkhc^ H^h de Baldbam^ founder of Peter-hdHsd at CkKP- 
bridge, orders in his statutes gmtt about th^ fesr 128(^ that 
mm^ dt' hii$ jgchokfs ^hotdd ttmnmUy repair to Oxfiail for 
teipn^^snetit ill the scienises ^ Tbut ifi^ to study titidet the 
F^£ttidsdttli f eii^f ^ Silchwasth^eminenoeoftheFrtociscflil 
fHary at Oxf^d^ that the leomcid \Mwp Grosdiead^ iii the 
ye&t 12&S9 bequeadled all his books to diat c^Idbrttted sem»^ 
liarj K This Wa& the house Ifi which the renowned Roger 
Bacon was edtfeat^; wk» r^^itred, in the midst of barbarism^ 
and bronght td a oonsid«f%bte degree of perfection^ the know-^ 
Iedg€^ of mathematics iff EiiglMc^ ftnd gteatly ftdtitated mstnj 
modcarii dii^ov^ries In experimental philosophy \ Thd saxod 
frateirni^ is likewii^ said to Irnve stored flieir valuable library 
wkb a multitude of Hebrew ihanufiicript% whieh they purchased 
of the Jewsi oti tMr banisbmem from ]&lgktnd K BiehanI de 
BUry^ Mshop of Durbi^^ alHl&or of pHiLcnsiifLoK, and tbd 
founder of a library at Oxford, is prolix in his praises of tlka 

in the uniyersities for the education of oester, took the de^see of doctor in din? 

ikaf novices. Ai 0xtord fhe mdiiks hlty ^ OiforO. He ^is Uttietiiid 6h 

kttd fdsly seiiM^ whidt hbte the name df tiis important ecci^n bjrdi^ i<iM,«Bd 

their refiwective orders : and there were whole' convent of Gloucester, the abbots 

Affaools iti fissit ttidtemy which wer^ of Wfefctifaitisiei-j lii^adhig, Af^ii^^^df^ 

api^'opnated to .JHtMculftr monafi^berie|t Evtehuii^ ind Malihesbuiyf wi^ mm 

Kenneths Parbch. Ant. p. 214. Wood, hundred noblemen and e^uii^s, on 

Hist Ami. Univ. Ox<m.i 119. Leland hotm AdSH^ ^fUnacmiaU TMMI #iCi 

says, that even in his tim^^ at Stamford, entertained at a sumptuoas least in the 

a temporary um'versity, ihe naihes of re^'cldry of GlbiiiSbistitf cmie(f e. aiit It 

halte hiMbibed. by tii^ noKices ^f Petfer^ AatAd be obsertfd^ that hfe waH the int 

borough, Sempringham, and Vauldrey of tfa^ Benedictine ordo? that attained 

abbie^, Were r^aSiing. Ithi. vi. p. 21. thid di^iy. Wood, t^^st: Aftt: t^i^. 

And it appears, that the greater part (^ Oxon^ 1. ^B. caL 1. See Msb Sfceveifa^ 

the proceeders in theology at Oxford and Mon. 1. 70. 

Cs^bridge, just before Ste Reformation, ^ « De sdioliiriMs eitAkHiiiit ad 1M^ 

were monks. But we do not find, that tersitatem Oxonie pro doctrina." Oap« 

iii consequence of all these e^orts, {he xtiii. 

monks inade a much greater figure in * Leland. Script. Brit. p. 283. This 

fiterature.-^In thb ii^klry i^hich mihi. ^ein^ skSed jtj^ wHhdUt tin d^ #idls, 

tisted between ihe MeticBdaia arid iiie riettt L^e^gat^i The gaickm ^dkd 

mteik^, the latter ioMefini^ availed j^iindiie irkb i^&t gtofti » MkkHb 

themseifes of ibdr Hches : and iHtb d ^ lii^ bMIWibll^ thM A» ttmdsek ef 

view to' attract ^c^laritj^, ittid io eclipse m^^ tf mbbh*9 sdkflM* aUd MtfWin^ 

the growing Insfre 6f Uie ft^rmer, {froh c^lW^t^ hf Thdtttfii Alkfft ifl die f«k(li 

deeded fo flieif degf^es iH th« Mntei^i- «^ gtaitth tK« fifeij ittU l^extiain MASmm 

tiea with prb<fi^oud pantde. iii ^a Hittdgiitiseii^el tSkKuMmPi^fik 

fetit 1^99, WflliaM d^ Bradk^i a B«>he- &t^ Bc^dk^ait HtMTjr* 

dictlti^ of Sklint PeterV abbey at ei^u* > Wood^ ttbi 9ti{^. 1* tt. crft 1^ 



SNGLiftH roETmr. 127 

MeiH^ecmts^ for ikeit «xtiraordinaly cBUgence m cdllecttc^ 
booka'^4 Indeed it bedeUBe difficult in the beginnii^ of the 
foitftetedi century to &nd any tredtie^ im flie arti^ theblogjr, or 
canoii Iai^# cOBln^fily ex^o^ to safe ^ tbej lirare all uniTar4> 
sally Ito^t i^ by dM» fiiars^ This is m^ntiolied by Bicfaord 
Fitsfri]^ iur^l»riiot)r of Armagh^ in his discourse b^ire the 
pefff&QtiA^iffiioh in 1857^ iht&t bittor and professed witAgoitist; 
who adds,* iidthbttt any kitemtion 6f paying them a coinpUmen^ 
th^ all th6 Meildicbnt convents were finmisfaed ^ith a << gf andin 
etnobilisUbraHa^'' Sir RidiArdWhittbgtonbidktheiainury 
of ibe Orey Friars in Jjotdtm^ which w^ one hundred and 
t^#eil^-hine feet lon^ and twelve broad, with twaity-'^ight 
desks'** Aboat the y^ar liiSOy one huhdred marks were paid 
for tratecribing the profoitod Nichcdaa de Lyra, In two vo^ 
hunes, to be chained in this fibrary^* Ldand relates, that 
Thomas WaUdeii, a learned CarmeUte^ bequeathed to the 
same library as many imuluscripts of ^ipproved authors, writ^ 
ten m aqyhal Roman characters, as w^e then estiitiated at 
ibcnre than two diousend pieces <^ gold^ He adds, that this 
library, even in his time, exceeded all others in London for 
multitude of books and andquiiy o^ copies'^. Among many 
other instancies which might be given of the learning of the 
Mendicants^ there is <me which gready contributed to esttablish 

^ Pl^dbiU. ei^ V. Hiis book irai icaraeiii thoimad. At BemM in Gbmi- 

written 1344* bnd|^ tBere » a cHrums mantii^cFipt of 

'^ Yet I find a decree made at Oxford^ orie of Fhirauf's Sermons, in the fine 

where these orders of friars Nourished 90 leaf of #faich ther^ ik a drawing of fbnt 

greatly, in the year 1373, to check the deTOs» fao^x^ foot mendicant friars^ 

exoettive nukUkude of persons selling one of ^ach of &e four orders, with great 

booln in the imtfersity without licence, fimiiliarity and afl^ction. MSS. L* 16i 

Yet. Stat UniY« Oxon. D. foL 76* Arw This bocOL belon|^ to Adani Eeton, a 

dnv< BodL TeiV leahied Benedictine of Norwich^ 

" MSS. Bibl. Bo^ Fhipositio coram and a #3tn#8s itgunst Wickliffe at Rome, 

pape,&e. And MS&&CC. Oxon. I82« where he Uved the greatest part of hia 

Propositio coram, &e« See a transbtion life, iii 1370. 

of this Sermon by Treyisa, MSS. HarL ' Stowe*s SUrr. Lond. p. 2SS, edit 

19Qa foL Fergam. 2. ^ f. II. See also 1599b 

Browne'sappehd* Fascic.Ra'.expetend^ '^ StQwe, ibid. p. i56. Sleteos^ Mo- 

fi^eiid. iL p» 466, I beliere this dia-> nast. i. lldi; 

cooise has been printed twice de thrice ' Anrei^ 

at nprisr In whicli^ says the archbish(^ ' Script. Brit. p. 441. And Colleetan^ 

there were tinrty Uiousand scholars at iii. pi. 53. . ( 
Chdbrd in my youth, but now (1357) 



128 THE HISTORY OV 

their Kterary character. In the eleventh century, Aristotle^s 
phUosophy had been condemned in the university of Paris as 
heretical. About a hundred years afterwards* these prejudices 

and (^ers, with more attention to the original Greek, at least 
without the pompous and perplexed circumlocutions which 
appeared in the Arabic versions hitherto used. In llie mean 
time the Mendicant orders sprung vp : who happily availing 
themselves of these new transl^ons, and making them the 
constant subject of their scholastic lectures, were the first who 
revived the doctrines of this philos(^her, and acquired the 
merit of having x>pened a new system of science ^ The Domi- 
nicans of Spain were accomplished adepts in the leamin£t and 
language of the Arabians; L weree^oyed byZ^of 
Spain in the instructi(m and conversion of the numerous Jews 
and Saracens who resided in their dommions ». 

The buildings of the Mendicant monasteries, especially in 
England, were remarkably magnificent^ and commonly much 

*■ See Joann. Laun. cle yaria Aristotel. rence, where king Herod was represented 

Pdrtun. in Acad. Paris, p. 78. edit. Palis, with his scribes and wise-men. The 

,166^2. three kings ask Herod where Christ 

^ R. Simon's Lett Chois.tom.iii.p« 112. should be bom {and his wise-men having 

^ey studied the arts of popular entertain- consulted their books, answer him at 

ment. The Mendicants, I believe were, Bethlehem. On which, the three kings 

the only rdigious in England who acted with their golden crownis, having in 

plays. The Creation of ths World, an- their hands golden cups filled with firank- 

nuaily performed by theGrreyfiriarsat Co- incense, myrrh, and gold, the sitar still 

ventry, is still extant. See supr.voLLp.95. going before, marched to the church of 

|EUid voL ii. p. 76. And they seem to have S. £ustorgius, with all their attendants ; 

been famous abroad for these exhibitions, preceded by trumpets and horns, apes, 

Gualvanei de la Flamma^ who flourished baboons, and a great variety of animals- 

about the year 1340, has the following In the church, on one side of the high 

curious passage in his chronicle of the altar, there was a manger with an ox 

VicECOMiTEs of Milan* published by Mu- and an ass, and in it the iiifant Christ in 

iratori. In the year 1336, says he, on the arms of his^ mother. Here the three 

the feast of Epiphany, the first feast of kings o£^ their gifts, &c. The con- 

the three kings was celebrated at Milan, course of the peop&, of knights, ladies, 

by the convent of the firiars Preachers, and ecclesiastics, was^such as nev^ be- 

The three kings appeared crowned on forcf was beheld, &c Rer. Italic. Scriptor* 

three great horses, richly habited, sur- tom. xii. coL 1017. D. foL Mediolan. 

rounded by pages, body-guards, and an 1728. Compare p. 84. supr. This feast 

innumerable retinue. A golden star was in the ritual is called The feast tf the 

exhibited in the sky, goinff beforei them. Star, Joann. Episcop. Abrinc. de OflRc. 

They proceeded to Uie pimrs of S. Law- EccL p. 30i 



SNGLJSH POETRY. 129 

^ceeded those of the endowed convents of the second raagni- 
tude« As these fraternities were professedly poor, and could 
not from their original institution receive estates, the munir 
ficence of their b^iefiictors was employed in adorning their 
houses with stately refectories and churches: and for these 
and o&er purposes they did not want address to procure mul- 
titudes of patrons, which was feciHtated by the notion of tiieir 
siqpeiior sam^tity. It was &shionable for persons of the highest 
rank to bequeath their bodies to be buried in the friary churches, 
whidi were consequentiy filled with sumptuous shrines and 
snp^b monuments^* In die nc^le church of die Qrey fiiars 
in London^ finished in die year 1325, but long since destroyed, 
feur queens, besides upwards of six hundred persons of quality, 
were buried, ^ose beautiful tombs remained till the Disso- 
lution'. These interments imported considerable sums of 
money into tiie Mendicant societies. It is probable that they 
darived more benefit from casual charity, than they would have 
gained from a regular endowment. The Franciscans indeed 
enjoyed from the popes the privilege of distributing indul- 
gaices, a valuable indemnification for their voluntary po- 
verty y. 

On the. whole, two of these Mendicant institutions, the Do- 
minicana and the Franciscans, for the space of near three cen- 
turies, appear to have governed the European church tmd statie 
witii an absolute and universal sway : they filled, during that 
period, the most eminent ecclesiastical and civil stations, taught 
in the universitbs with an authority, which silenced all (^posi- 
tion,, and maintained the disputed prerogative of the Roman 
pontiff against the united influence of prelates and kings, with 
a vigour only to be paralleled by its success. The Dominicans 
and Franciscans were, before the Reformation, exactiy what 
the Jesuits have been since. They disregarded their monastic 
character and profession, and were employed, not only in spi- 
ritual matters, but in tmporal affairs of the greatest conse- 

^ Their churches were esteemed more ^ See Baluz. Miscellan. torn. iv. 490, 
sacred than others. vii. 392. 

* Weav. Fun. Mon. p. 388, 

VOJ.. If. K 



130 THE HISTORY OF 

quence; in composing the differences of princes, concluding 
treaties of peace, and concerting alliances : they presided iil 
cabinet councils, levied national subsidies, influenced coutts, 
and managed the machines of every important operation and 
event, both in the religious and political world. 

From what has been here said, it is natural to suppose that 
the Mendicants at length became universally odious. The high 
esteem in which they were held, and the transcendent d^ree 
of authority which they had assumed, only served to raider 
them obnoxious to the clergy of every rank, to the monasteries 
of other orders, and to the imiversities. It was not from igno- 
rance, but from a knowledge of mankind, that they were active 
in propagating superstitious liotions, which they knew were 
calculated to captivate the multitude, and to strengthen the 
papal interest; yet at the same time, from the vanity of dis- 
playing an imcomraon sagacity of thought, and a superior skill 
in theology, they aflected novelties in doctrine, which ihtror 
duced dangerous errors, and tended to shake the pillars of 
orthodoxy. Their ambition was unboimded, and their arro- 
gance intolerable. Their encreasing numbers became, in many 
states, an enormous and unwieldy burthen to the common- 
wealth. They had abused the powers and privil^es which 
had been entrusted to them ; and the common sense of man- 
kind could not long be blinded or deluded by the palpable 
frauds and artifices, which these rapacious zealots so noto- 
riously practised for enricliing their convents. In England, 
the university of Oxford resolutely resisted the perpetual enr 
croachments of the Dominicans ^ ; and many of our theologists 
attacked all the four orders with great vehemence and severity. 
Exclusive of the jealousies and animosities which naturally 
subsisted between four rival institutions, their visionary refine- 
ments, and love of disputation, introduced among them the 
most violent dissensions. The Dominicans aimed at popu- 
l^i^9 by an obstinate denial of the immaculate conception. 
Their pretended sanctity became at length a term of reproach, 

* Wood, ut supr. i. 150. 154. 196. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 131 

and their learning fell into discredit As polite letters and 
general knowledge encreased, their speculative and pedantic 
divinity gave way to a more liberal turn of thinking, and a 
more perspicuous mode of writing. Bale, who was himself a 
Carmelite friar, says, that his order, which was eminently di- 
stinguished for scholastic erudition, began to lose their estima- 
tion about the year 1460. Some of them were imprudent 
enough to engage openly in political controversy; and the 
Augustines destroyed all their repute and authority in England 
by seditious sermons, in which they laboured to supplant the 
progeny of Edward the Fourth, and to establish the tide of 
the usurper Richard*. About the year 1530, Leland viiuted 
the Franciscan firiary at Oxford, big with the hopes of finding, 
in their celebrated library, if not many valuable books, at least 
those which had' been bequeathed by the learned bishop Grost>- 
head. The delays and difficulties with which he procured ad- 
mittance into this venerable repository, heightened his curiosity 
and expectations. At length, after much ceremony, being pei^ 
mitted to enter, instead of an inestimable treasure, he saw litde 
more than empty shelves covered with cobwebs and dust^. 

After so prolix an introduction, I cannot but give a large 
quotation from our Crede, the humour and tendency of which 
will now be easily understood : and especially as this poem is 
not only extremely scarce, and has almost the rarity of a ma- 
nuscript, but as it is so curious anfl lively a picture of an order 
of men who once made so conspicuous a figure in the world. * 

For first I fi-ayned*^ the freres, and they me full tolden, 
TTiat al the fi*uy t of the fayth, was in her foure orders, 

* Kewcourt, Repert. i. 289. asinis multa subrudens tandem fores 

^ Leland describes this adventure with aegre reseravit. Summe Jupiter quid ego 

some humour. <* Contigit ut copiam pe- illic inveni ? Pulverem autcm invem, 

terem videndi bibliothecam Francisca- telas aranearum, tineas, blattas, situm 

nonuxiy ad quod obstreperunt asini ali- denique et squallorem. Inveni etiam et 

quot, rudentes nulli prorsus mortalium libros, sed quos tribus obolis non eme- 

tarn sanctos aditus et recessus adire, nisi rem.'* Script. Brit p. 28^. 

Gardianoetsacrissuicollegiibaccalariis. * [The British Museum contains but 

Sed eg^ urgebam, et principis diplomate one manuscript (Kine*s MSS. 18. B. 

munitus, tantum non coegi ut sacraria xvL) cK the Crede^ and that of no early 

ilia aperirent. Turn unus e majoribus dale. It agrees closely in orthography 

K 2 



1S2 THE HISTORY OF 

And the cofres of Christendom, and the keie bothen 
And the lock of byleve**, lyeth Ipckenin her hondes. 

Then wennede*^ I to Wytte, and with a whight I mette 
A Minoure in amorwetide, and to Ihis man I saade,i 
Sir for greate godes love, the graith^ thou me tell. 
Of what myddel erde man myght I best leme 
My crede, for I can it nought, my care is the more, 
And therfore for Christes love, thy counseyl I preie, 
A Carme*^ me hath ycovenant^ [the crede*] me to teclie^ 
But for thou kiiowest Cannes wel, thy counsaile I aske. ^ 

This Minour loked on me, and laughjmg he sayde 
Leve Christen man, I leve^ that thou madde* 
Whough' shuld thei teche the god^ that con non hemselve? 
They ben but jugulers, and japers o£ kynde, 
Lorels and lechures, and lemans holden, 
Neyther in order ne out but unneth lybbeth^. 
And bjjapeth the folk with gestes*^ of Rome. 
It is but a faynt folke, yfounded up on jaj^es. 
They maketh hem Maries men^, and so thei men tellen. 
And leieth on our lady many a long tale. 
And that wicked folk wymmen betraieth. 
And begileth hem of her good with glavering wordes. 
And ther with holden her"* hous in harlotes warkes. 
And so save me God I hold it great synne, ^ 

To gyren hem any good^ swiche glotones to fynde 
To maintaine swiche maner men the michel good destruieth 

and matter with the printed copy, and is ' The Carmelites^ s<HQetmies cidled the 

perhaps not much older. A few of its brethren of the Blessed Virgin, were fond 

Tariations hare been inserted in the text, of boasting thdr familiar intercourse with 

and others of less importance given in the Virgin Mary. Among other things, 

the notes below. The rejected readings they pretended that the Virgin assumed 

of the black-letter copy are distinguished the Carmelite habit and profession : and 

by the letter P.— A reprint of Roger's that she appeared to Simon Sturckiusy 

edition of 1553^ appeared in 1814.-— general of &eir order, in the thirteenth 

Edit. 1 century, and gave him a solemn promise, 

" asked. ^ belief. thatthe souls ofthose Christians who died 

* thought. *■ truth. with the Carmelite scapulary upon their 



shoulders should infallibly escape dsvor 



^ Carmelite. ^ believe. 

^ deceivetb [liveth]. ^ legends. nation. ^ their. 

* ye nede. P. '^ how* 3 Crod. P, 



ENGLISH POETRY. 133 

Yet seyn" they in her sutiltie, to sottes in townes 

Thei comen out of Carmeli, Christ for to folwen. 

And feyneth hem with holynesse, the yvele hem bisemeth. 

Thei Ijnren more in lecherie, and lieth in her tales. 

Than *suen*' any good lii^ but lurken in her selles. 

But wynnen werdlicheP good, and wasten it in synne, 

And gif *i thei couthen*^ her crede other on Christ leveden 

Thei weren nought so hardy, swyche harlotri usen, 

SikerK I can nought fynden who hem first founded. 

But the foles foundeden hem self freres of the pye. 

And maken hem mendyans, and marre the [people*] 

.But what glut of the gomes may any good kachen, 

He wil kepen it hem selfe, and cofrene® it feste. 

And thoigh his felawes fayle good, for [him "^J he mai sterve 

Her monei mai bi quest, and testament maken 

And none obedience here, but don as hym luste. 

And right as Robartes men raken aboute 

At feyres and at full ajes, and fyllen the cuppe* 

And precheth al of pardon, to plesen the puple, 

But patience is al [passyd]® and put out to ferme 

And pride is in her povertie, that litell is to preisen 

And at the lullyng of our lady% the wymmen to lyken 

" say. ° follow. See Blackstone's Cohm. B. iv. ch. 17. 

' worldly. ** if. ' knew. Bishop Latimer says, that in a town 

' [Robartes men, or Roberdsmen, where he intended to preach, he could 

were a set of lawless vagabonds, noto- not collect a congregation, because it 

rious for their outrages when Pierce was Robinhoodes daye, ** I thought my 

Plowman was written, that is, about rochet would have been regarded, though 

the year 1350 [1362]. The statute of I were hot: but it would not serve, it 

Edward the Tmrd (an. reg. 5. c. xiv.) was faine to give place to Robinhoodes 

specifies "divers manslaughters, felo- men." Sermons, fol. 74. b. This ex- 

nies, and robberies, done by people that pression is not without an allusion to 

be caUed Roberdesmen, Wastours, and the bad sense of Roberdsm£n*'-^A-Dj>i" 

drawlatches.** And tiiestatute of Richard tions.] 

the Second (an. reg. 7. c. v.) ordains, that ' The Carmelites pretended that their 

the statute of king Edward concerning order was originally founded on Mount 

Roberdsmen and Drawlacches shall be ri- Carmel where Elias lived : and that their 

gorously observed. Sir Edward Coke first convent was placed there, within, an 

(IxsTiT. iiL 197.) supposes them to have antient church dedicated to the Virgin 

been originally the followers of Robert Mary, in the year 112].. 
Hood in the reign of Richard the First. 



* sbewin. * pule. P. • coferen. ' he. P. ^ pased. P. 



134 THE HISTORY OF 

And miracles of mydwyvesj and maken wymmen to wenen 

That the lace of our lady smok lighteth hem of children. 

Thei ne prechen nought of Powel", ne penaunce for synne^ 

But al of merci and ®mensk ^, that Marie may helpen. 

With steme stares and stronge, thei overlond straketh, 

Thider as here lemans liggeth, and lurketh in townes. 

Grey grete heded queues, with gold by the eighen. 

And seyne that her sustem thei ben that sojoumeth aboute. 

And thus abouten the gon and godes*® folke betrayeth, 

It is the puple that Powel preched of in his tyme. 

He seyde of swiche folke that so aboute wente 

Wepyng, I warne you of walker^ aboute, 

It beth enemyes of the cros that Christ upon tholede. 

Swiche slomreers ^ in slepe slaughte ^ is her end. 

And glotonye is her god, with glopping of drink * 

And gladnesse in glees, and grete joye ymaked 

In the shending ^ of swiche shal mychel folk lauwghe. 

Therfore frend for thy feith fond to don beter, 

Leve nought on tho losels, but let hem forth pasen, 

For thei ben fals in her faith, and feele mo other. 

Alas frere, quath I tho, my purpos is yfailed. 
Now is my comfort a cast, canstou no bote, 
Wher I might meten with a man that might me wyssen 
For to conne my crede, Christ for to folwen. 

Certeyn felawe, quath the frere, withouten any fayle 
Of al men upon mold* we Minorites most sheweth 
The pure aposteles lif "^ with penance on erthe. 
And suen^ hem in sanctite, and sufferen wel harde. 
We haunten not tavemes, ne hobelen^ abouten 
At marketes and miracles we medeley us never**. 

" St Paul. pamiteat.** MSS. Jabi. V. 237. BibL 

'* mercy [humanity]. BodL— Additioks.] 

^ slumberers. \ ^ sloth. * destroying. ^ earth. 

* [In the Liber PiENrrsnTiALis there ^ follow. 

is this injunction, << Si monachus per ^ skip, run [hobble]. 

XBRiETATEM vomitum/ecerUi triginta dies ' See supr. p. 70. 



9 mary and melk. *•» gode. »' leif. P. 



ENGLISH POETRY* 1S5 

We hpulden^ no moneye, but [menelich'*] faren^ 

And haven hunger at the mete, at ich a mel ones^^ 

We haven forsaken the world, and m wo libbeth « 

In penaunce and poverte, and prechethe the puple** 

By ensample of our liif, soules to helpen 

And m poverte preien, for al oure parteneres 

That gyveth us any good, God to honouren 

Other bel other book, or bred to our foode, 

Other catel other cloth, to coveren [with**] oure bones ^ . 

Money, other money worth, here mede is in hevene 

For we buildeth a bunigh ^, a brod and a large, 

A chirch and a chapitle ^ widi chaumbers a lofie. 

With wide wyndowes ywrought, and walles wel heye 

That mote ben portreid, [paynted'^j and pulched fill clene*". 

With gay gUtering glas, glowing as the sunne, 

And mightestou amenden us with money ** of thjme owen. 

Thou shouldest knely before Christ in compas of gold. 

In the wyde windowe westward wel neigh in the middell% 

And saint Franceis him sel^ shal folde the in his cope. 

Arid present the to the trinite, and praye for thy synnes, 

Thy name shal nobUch be wryte and wrought for the nones 

And in remembraunce of the, [irade] *® ther for ever^, 

* coUect, hide, possess, hoard. factors in painted glass. See supr. p. 

^ live like monks, like men dedicated 114. 
to religion. Or rather, moneyless, poor. * Your name shaU be written in our 

' live. *^ people. table of benefactors for whose souls we 

' Either bells, or books, or bread, or pray. This was usually hung up in the 

cattel, &C. chiurch. Or else he means. Written in 

^ a house. the windows, in which manner benefac- 

< A chapter-house ; Cajnttdunu tors were frequently recorded. 

°* Must be painted and beautifully [Most of the printed copi^readproief. 

adorned. [Mote is often used in Chau- Heame, in a quotation of this passage, 

cer for must.-^ Additions.] reads ^nui. GuIh Newbrxg. p. 770. He 

" If you would help us with your quotes an edition of I55S. '* Your name 

money. shall be richly written in the windows of 

** Your fiffure kneeling to Christ shall the church of the monastery, which men 

be painted in the great west window, will read there for ever.*' This seems 

This was the way of representing bene- to be the true reading.— Additions.] 



*^ moneliche. P. ■> ilche a mele onys. ^* The context requires the 

suppression of this word. In the manuscript it appears to have been written and 
afterwards erased. 's and paint P. *^ praid. P. 



136 THE HISTORY OF 

And brother be thou nought aferd, bythenkhi thyne hert 
Though thou cone*> nought thy crede^ care thou lio mor6 
I shal asoilen ^ the syr, and setten it on my soule. 
And thou may maken this go6d, thenke thou non other. 

Sir (I sayde) in certaine I shal gon and asaye, 
And he set on me his hond, and asoiled me dene, 
And there I parted him fro, withouten any pejme, 
In covenant that I come agajni, Christ he me be taught 

Than saide I to myself here semeth litel treihhe, 
Ilrst to blame his brother, and bakbyten hym foule^ 
There as curteis Christ clerliche sayde : 
Whow might thou in thy brothers eighe a bare mote loke 
And in thyne owen eighe nought a beme toten, 
See first on thy sel^ and sithen on a nother, 
And dense dene thy sight, and kepe wel thjme eighe, 
And for another mannes eighe, ordepie after 
And also I see coveitise^ catel to fongen% 
That Christ hath clerliche forboden% and clenliche destniede 
And sayde to his sueres**, for sothe on his wyse : 
Nought thy neighbors good coveyte in no tyme. 
But charite and chastite, ben chased out dene, 
But Christ seide by her fruit, men shal hem ftd knowen. 
Thanne saide I, certeine syr, thou demest ftd trewe. 

Than thought I to frayne^ the first of this foure ordres. 
And presed to the Prechoures*, to proven her wille. 
Ich highed to her housed, to herken of more. 
And when I came to that court, I gaped about, 
Swich a bjld bold ybuld upon erthe heighte, 
Say I nought in certeyn sjrththe a long tyme *. 
I [*yemyd"J upon that hous, and yeme^ theron loked, 
Whow the pileres weren ypaint and [^^pulched*®] fill clene^ 

^ know. ' absolve. ^ I went to their monastery. 

' take, receive. * foii^dden. * It is long since I have seen so fine 

" followers. ^ to ask. a building. ^ gazed. 

'.I hastened to the friars-preachers. ^ earnestly [eagerly]. ^ polished. 



'" scmcd. P. *® poleched. 



ENGLISH PpETRYt 137 

And queyntly ycorven, with curious knottes^ 
With wyndowes wel ywrought, wyde up alofte^ 
And than I entred in, and even forthe wente^ 
And all was walled that wone^, though it wiid were 
With postemes in privite to passen when hem liste« 
Orcheyardes, and erberes* [euesed**] wel clene^ 
And a curious cros, craftly entayled^ 
With tabernacles ytight to toten^ al abouten. 
The pris of a ploughlond, of penies so rounde, 
To apamile that pyler, were pure litel*», 
Tlian I munte' me forth, the mynstere*^ to knowen. 
And awa3rted' it [anon*®] wonderly wel ybild. 
With arches on everich hal^ and bellyche® ycorven 
With crochetes on fcomeres]*', with knottes of gold 
Wyde wyndowes ywrought ywriten ful thikke" 
Shjmen with shapen sheldes®, to shewen aboute^ 
With merkes of merchauntesP, ymedeled betwene^ 

* house, habitation. ® arbours. p. 535. As does Weaver, 'who dates it 
' carved. See Spenser, ii. 3. 27. 6. 129. in 1460. Fun. Mon. p. 734. But I could 
K to look. prove this fashion to have been of much 
^ The price of a carucate of land would higher antiquity. 

not raise such another building. ^ [By Merkes cfmerchauntes we are to 

* went. ^ church. understand their symbols, cyphers, or 
> I saw. ^ beautifully. badges, drawn or painted in the win- 

* with texts, or names. dows. Of this passage I have received 
^ That is, coats of arms of bene&ctors the following curious explication from 

painted in the glass. So in an antient Mr. Cole, rector of Blechley in Bucks, 

roll in verse, exhibiting the descent of a learned antiquary in the heraldic art. 

the family of the lords of Claie in Suf- " Mixed with the arms of their founders 

folk, preserved in the Austin friary at and benefactors stand tUso the marks of 

Clare, and written in the year 1356. tradesmen and merchants, who had no 

Tk« "H/r 1* 1 J 1* 11 u — ui^ Arms, but used their Marks in a Shield 

Dame Mault, a lady full honorable, ... }^^^ T«e*««-o» ^ ♦!,;- «^^ -«« 

Borne oftheUlstera, as shewethr^e ^^"~- Instances of this sort are 

Hir^anne^,^.i,;thee^^ '^r^^^l.^^'^^^^:^^ 

Ulsti^a^and^irtrisihurghand I'^^^^TL^^^.f:^'^^ 

tnur^ ^ gjjQp opposite the Conduit on the Mar- 

Aa^emA our r«id(n«,m houses thre, ketSul^^md the comer house of the 

^^'•A^ "^ "'' P«^ ^'^- No doubt, in die reign 

wmcn sne j . ^^ i i. of Henry the Seventh, the owner of these 

Made out Ae grounde both plancher ^^^^ ^ ^ benefaci,r to the building, 

^°^ ^*"* or glasing Samt Mary's church. I have 

Dugdale cites this roll, Mon. Angl. i. seen like instances in Bristol cathedral; 

'9 u&yd.] *' woon. P. •* With crochers the corneres* 



138 THE HISTORY Ol^ 

Mo than twentie and two, twyse ynoumbbred ; . 

Ther is non heraud that hath half swich a rolle** 

Bight as a rageman hath rekned hem newe 

Tombes upon tabernacles, tylde i^on lofte''. 

Housed* in homes harde set abouten* 

Of armede alabaustre, clad for the nones, 

Maad opon niarbel in many manner wyse 

Knyghtes in ther conisante" clad for the nones 

Alle it semed seyntes, ysacred opon erthe, 

And lovely ladies ywrought, leyen by her sydes ' 

In many gay garnemens, that weren gold beten. 

Though the tax often yere were trewely gadered, 

Nolde it nought maken that hous, half as I trowe. 

Than cam I to that cloystre, and gaped abouten, 

Whough it was pilered and peynt, and portreyd weU clefie 

Alhyled ^ with leed, lowe to the stones, 

and the churches at Lynn are full of and enclosed in a multiplicity of thick- 

tbem. ***— In an antient system of bend- set arches. " Hard is close or thick. This 

diy in the British Museum, I find the conveys no bad idea of a Gothic sepul- 

following illustration, under a shield of chral shrine.— Additions.] 

this sort. ** Theys be none armys, bvt [Mr. Ellis asks " Why not ham^ 

a Marke as MARci]Sft.nNTS vse, for every harness, i. e. armour ?'* which would 

mane may take hyme a Marke, but not hardly be characteristic of the arckkec- 

armys, without an herawde or purcy- iure of a tomb. Warton is doubtlessly 

vaunte." MSS. HarL 2259. 9. foL 1 la right. The term occurs in the poem of 

— Additions. 1 Beowulf: 

« such a roll. ' set up on high. sele hUfade, ^ I hall rose, 

^ • [But perhaps we should read hurnes, y^^^ ^nd hom^geap, high and arched. 

interpreted, in the short Glossary to the Edit.! 

Crede, Caves, dmt is, in the present t PUced very close or thick about the 

application, rdcfiesy arclies. See Gloss, church. 

Bob. Glouc. p. 66a col. i. HuRN, is « !„' their proper habiliments. In 

angfe, comer. From the Saxon J7yjin, thej, cognisances, or surcoats of arms. 

jingulus. Chaucer I^rankel. T. Urr. So again, Signat. C. ii. b. 

p. no. V. 2677. T? *u 1 ' u ' ^ 

*^ , . . . „ r , -. , *or though a man m her mmstre a 

Seeking m every halke [nook], and every ^asse wolde heren, 

f*^me* His sight shall also byset on sondrye 

And again, Chan. Yem. Prol. p. 121. ^ • workes, 

Y. 679. The pennons, and the poinells, and 

pointes of sheldes 
Lurking mAmiM and in lams band. Withdrawen his devotion and duskcn 

Read the Une, thus pointed. ^^^ *>»rte. 

xT^ J . L J ^A u 4. - That is, the banners, atchievements, and 

Housed m hubnes hard set abouten. ^^^ ^^^^^ ornaments, hanginR^over 

The sense is therefore : ** The tombs the tombs, 
were within lofty-pinnacled tabernacles, ^ covered. 



ENGLISH POETRY. iSd 

And ypaved, with [^poynttyl'?,] ich point after other 
With cundites of clene tyn closed al aboute^. 
With lavoures of lattin*, loveliche ygreithed* 
I trowe the gaynage of th^ ground, in a gret shyre 
Nold aparaile that place, oo poynt tyl other ende^. 
Thane was the chapitre house wrought as a greet chirch 
Corven and covered, ant quentelyche entayled^ 
With semliche selure yseet on lofte** 
As a parlement hous ypeynted aboute*. 

' Point en point is a French phrase CarpenU Suppl. Lat GL Du Gang. Y. 
for m order, exactly. This explains the Lambroissahe. 

l!;!!!;S?l!°^*^'""*' ^P^fy^'^l Lors moustiers tiennent ore et wis, 
mean tiles m squares or dies, in chequer- «^ i . . , r^ 

work. See SkTnBer in Point, aiS Du f ' ^\ ^^ ^ ^. '^J^'^^ . 
Fresne in PoNCTUEA. And then icA Font lm.bro.8sier, jwimfoe, et ^rtraw. 

Point after other will be one square Gervasius Dorobemensis, in his account 

after another. So late as the reign of of the burning of Canterbury Cathedral 

Henry the Ei^th, so magniiicent a in the year 1 1 74, says, that not only the 

structure as the refectory of Christ- beam-work was destroyed, but the ceiling 

church at Oxford was, at its first build- underneath it, or concameration called 

ing, paved with green and yellow tiles, caelum, being of wood beautifully paint- 

The whole number was two thousand ed, was also consumed. ** Coelum infe- 

six hundred, and each hundred cost tiua egregie depictum,** &c p, 12^9* Dec, 

three shillings and six-pence. MSS. Br. Script. Lond. 1652. And Stubbes, Actus 

Twyne, Archiv. Oxon. 8. p. 352. Wol- Pont^. Ebaracendum, says, thatarchfai- 

8ey*s great hall at Hampton Court, evi- shop Aldred, about 1060, built the whole 

dently built in every respect on the mo- church of York fh>m the Presbytery to 

del oi this at Christ^urdi, was very pro- the Tower, and " superius opere pictorio 

bably paved in the same manner. See quod Coelum vocant auro muUiformiter 

Observax. on Spens. vol* ii. § p. 232. intermixto, miiabili arte constnudt." p. 

[pantiles, Ellis.] 1704. Dec Script, ut supr. There are 

^ Spouts. Or channels for conveying many instances in the pipe-roib, not yet 

the water into the lavatory, which was printed. The robf of die church of Qw- 

usually placed in the cloyster. sino in Italy is ordered to be painted in 

* laten, a metal so called. 1349, like that of St. John Lateran at 

* prepared, adorned. Rome. Hist. Cassin. tonu ii. p. 545. 
*> from one end to the other. coL 1« Dugdale has printed an antient 
^ The chapter-house was magnifi- French record, by which it iqppears that 

cently constructed in the style of church- there was a hall in the castle of Dover 

architecture, finely vaulted, and richly called i^r^Aur*<Aatf, and a chamber called 

carved. Geneura*t chamber. Monast. ii. 2. I sup* 

^ A seemly cdling, or roof, very lof^. pose, because the walls of these apart- 

* That they painted the walls of rooms, ments were respectively adorned widi 
before tapestry became fashionable, I paintings of each. Geneura is Arthur's 
have before given instances, Observat. queen. In the pipe-rolls of Henry the 
Sfens. vol. ii. § p. 232. I will here add Third we have this notice, A.D. 1259. 
otlier proofs. In an old French romance " Infra portam castri et biibecanam, etc. 
on the Miracles of the Virgin, liv. i^ ab exitu Camxrjb RosAMUMOis usque 



«« peinetyle. 



140 THE HISTORY OF 

Thaiine ferd I into firaytoure^^ and fond there a nother, 
An halle for an hygh kynge, an houshold to holden, 
With brod hordes abouten, ybenched wel clene, 
With wyndowes of glass, wrought as a chirche^. 
Than walkede I ferrer*^, and went al abouten 
And seigh^ halles ful heygh, and houses ful noble, 
Chambres with chymneys, and chapels gaye, 
And kychenes for an high kynge, in castels to holden. 
And her dortoure^ ydight, with dores ful stronge 
Fermerye and fraitur', with fele mo houses"* 
And al strong ston wal steme opon heithe 
With gaye garites, and grete, and iche hole glased. 
And other houses ynowe, to hereberwe the queene", 
And yet these bilderes wiln beggen a bagge ful of whete 
Of a pure pore man, that may onethe° paye 
Half his rent in a yere, and half ben byhynde. 

Than turned I ayen whan I hadde al ytoted^ 
And fond in a freitoure a &ere on a benche, 
A greet chorl and a grym, growen as a tonne, 
With a face so fat, as a ful bleddere% 
Blowen bretfid of breth, and as a bagge honged* 
On bothen his chekes, and his chyn, with a chol lollede 

capellam sancti Thorns in Castro Wyn-« Henry the Second himself provided for 
ton." Rot* Pip. Hen. III. an. 43.— his fair concubine a bower, or chamber 
This I once supposed to be a chamber of peculiar construction, not only at 
in Winchester castle, so called because Woodstock, but in all the royal palaces : 
it was punted vrhii the figure or some which, as may be concluded fi'om the 
history of fair Rosamond. But a Ro- pipe^roll just cited, was called by her 
SAMUMD-CHAMBE& was a common apart- name. Leland says, that in the stately 
ment in the royal castles, perhaps in castle of Pickering in Yorkshire, *'in 
imitation of her bower at Woodstock, the first coiurt be a foure Toures, of the 
literally nothing more than a chaynhevf which one is caullid^ojamumZe^Tdmre.'* 
which yet was curiously constructed and Itin. f(^ 71. Probably because it con- 
decorated, at least in memory of it. The tained one of these bowers or chambers, 
old prose paraphrast of the Chronicle of Or, perhaps we should read Rosamun- 
Robert of Gloucester says, << Boures des Boure. Compare Walpole*s Anecd. 
hadde the Rosamonde a bout in Enge- Paint, i. p. 10. 11. ^ fratry. 
londe, which this kynge [Hen. II.] for * a series of stately Gothic windows, 
hir sake made : atte Waltham bishope*s, ^ further. * saw. 
in the castelle of Wynchester, atte park ^ dormitory. * infirmary, &c. 
of Fremantel, atte Marteleston, atte ^ many other apartments. ^ 
Woodestoke, and other fele [many] ' to lodge the queen, 
places.'* Chron. edit. Hearne, 479^ lliis *• scarcely. *• observed, 
passage indeed seems to imply, that ' bladder. 



BNOLISH POETRY. 141 

So greet [as] a gos ey, groweii [al**] of grece. 
That al wagged his fleisb, as a qprick mire% 
His oqpe that biclypped' him, wel clene was it folden 
Of doaUe worstede ydyght, doun to the hele. 
His kyrtel of clene whiit, clenlyche ysewed 
Hit was good ynow of ground, greyn for to baren. 
I haylsede that [hirdman*^] and hendliche I sayde, 
Gode sire for godes love, canstou me graith tellen, 
To any worthely wiight, that wiss^i me condie^ 
[How^] I shuld conne my crede, Christ for to fblwe, 
That [levid**] lelliche" hym selfe^ and lyved ther after, 
That feynede no filshede, but fidly Christ suwede^ 
For [suche^] a certeyn man syker wold I trosten 
That he wold tell me the trewtb, and turn to none other. 
And an Austyn this ender day, egged*' me faste 
That he wold techen me wel, he plyght me his treuthe 
And seyde me certeyn [sytliyn*®] Christ deyed 
Oure ordre was [evels**], and erst yfounde. 
Krst felawe quath he, fy on bis [pilche**] 
He is but abortii^ eked with cloutes. 
He holdeth his (nrdinaunce with hores and theves. 
And purchaseth hem privileges, with penyes so rounde. 
It is a pure pardcmers craft, prove and asay 
For have they thy money, a moneth therafter 
Certes theigh thou come agen, he wil ye nought knowen. 
But felawe oure foundement was first of the other 
And we ben founded fulliche, withouten fayntise 
And we ben clerkes renowen, cunning in schole 
Proued in procession by processe of lawe. 
Of oure order, ther beth bichopes wel manye, 
Seyntes on sundry stedes, that sufireden harde 
And we ben proved the priis of popes at Rome 
And of grettest d^e, as gospelles telleth. 

• quag-mire. * covered. " truly* ^ moved. 



«3fulK 24thirdman. P. "Whom. P. ^lenede. P. 

«7sith. P. a'sighten. P. » yvellis. aopyltbe. 



142 TH£ HISTORY O-* 

I must not quit our Ploughman without observing, that 
some other satirical pieces anterior to the Beformation, bear 
the adopted name of Piers th5* Plowman. Under the cha«- 
racter of a plowman the religious arie likewise lashed, in a poem 
written in apparent imitation of Longland's Vision, and attri- 
buted to Chaucer. I mean the Plowman's Tale^. The 
measure is different, and it is in rhyme. But it has Long- 
land's alliteration of initials : as if his example had, as it were, 
appropriated that mode of versification to the subject, and the 
supposed character which supports the satire y. All these 
poems were, for the most part, founded on the doctrines newly 
broached by Wickliffe ^ : who maintained, among other things, 

* Perhaps falsely. Unless Chaucer a manifest piece of satire on Wykeham, 
wrote the Crede, which I cannot believe, bishop of Winchester, Wickliffe*s cotem- 
For in Chaucer*s Plowman's Talk this porary ; ^o is supposed to have recom- 
Crede is alluded to. v. 3005. mended himself to Edward the Third by 

.,-_ .Tt. .Y. rebuildinir the castle of Windsor. This 

And of Frens I have btfare ^^ ^ ^^^^ ^^^ notorious instance. But 

Told m a making of a Crede; ^^ ^^ appointment the king probably 

And yet I could tell worse and more. ^^^ ^ co^Ument to that prelate's an; 

This passage at least brings the Plow- gular talents for business, his activity, 

MAM*s Tale below the Credb in time* circumspection, and management, rather 

But some have thought, very improba^ than to any scientific and professed skill 

bly, that this Crede is Jack UjylaTuL in architecture wliich he might have pos- 

y It is extra^dinary that we should sessed. It seems to me that he was only 

find in this poem one of the absurd argu- a supervisor or comptroller on this occa- 

ments of the puritans against ecclesiasti- sion. It was common to depute church- 

cal establishments, v. 2253. Urr. edit. men to this department, from an idea of 

For Christ made no cathedrelU, *?'' ^'f '" P™dence »nd probity. 

Ne with him was no Cardinal^ ^^ J°^°' *! I™'. °^ ^ ^:^^V^ 

Wmchester m 1280, is commissioned by 

But see what follows, concerning Wick- brief from the king, to supervise large 

liffe. repairs done by the sheriff in the casUe 

* It is remarkable, that they touch on of Winchester, and the royal manor of 
the very topics which Wickliffe had just Wolmer. MS. Registr. Priorat. Quat 19. 
published in his Objections of Fberks, fol. 3. The bishop of S. David's was 
charging them yiixhjifty heresies. As in master of the works at building Kine^s 
the following. "Also ^reresbuildin many College. Heame*s Elmh. p. 353. Al- 
great churches, and costy i%ast houses cock, bishop of Ely, was comptroller of 
andcloisteres, asitwemcastels, andthat the royal buildings under Henry the 
withouten nede," &c. Lewis's Wice- Seventh. Parker, Hist. Cambr. p. 1 19. 
LiFF, p. 22. I will here add a passage He, like Wykeham, was a great builder, 
from Wickliffe*s tract entitled Why poor but not therefore an architect Richard 
Priests have ko Benefices. Lewis, Williams, dean of Litchfield and chap- 
App. Num. xix. p. 289. " And yet they lain to Henry the Eighth, bore the same 
[lords] wolen not present a clerk able of office. MSS. Wood, Litchfield. D. 7. 
kunningofgod*s law, but a kitchen clerk, AshmoL* Nicholas Townley clerk, was 
or a penny clerk, or wise in btdlding cas- roaster of the works at Cardinal College. 
tletf or worldly doing, though he kunne MS. Twyne, 8. f. 351. See also Wal- 
not reade well his sauter," &Cr Here is pole, i. Anecd. Paint p. 4a 



EKGLISit POETRY. I43 

ft 

that the clergy should not possess estates, that die ecclesiastical 
ceremonies obstructed true devotion, and that Mendicant friars, 
the particular object of our Plowman's Crede, were a public 
and insupportable grievance. But WicklifFe, whom Mr. Hume 
prcmounces to have been an enthusiast, like many other te£omi- 
ers, carried his ideas of purity too far; aiid, as at least it ap- 
pears from the two first of these camions, under the design rf 
destroying superstition, his undistinguishing zeal attacked even 
the necessary aids of religion. It was certainly a lucky cir- 
cumstance, that WickliiFe quarrelled with the Pope. His at- 
tacks on superstition at first probably proceeded from resent- 
ment WicklifFe, who was professor of divinity at Oxford 
finding on many occasions not only his own province invaded, 
but even the privileges of the university frequently violated by 
the pretensions of the Mendicants, gratified his warmth of tem« 
per by throwing out some slight censures against all the four 
orders, and the popes tlieir principal patrons and abettors. 
Soon afterwards he was deprived of the wardenship of Canter- 
bury hall, by the archbishop of Canterbury, who substituted 
a monk in his place. Upon this he p.ppealed to the Pope, 
who confirmed the archiepiscopal sentence, by way of rebuka 
for the freedom with which he had treated the monastic profes- 
sion. WicklifFe, highly exasperated at this usage, immediately 
gave a loose to his indignation, and without restraint or di- 
stinction attacked in numerous sermons and treatises, not only 
the scandalous enormities of the whole body of monks but 
even the usurpations of the pontifical power itself, with other 
ecclesiastical corruptions. Having exposed these palpable 
abuses with a just abhorrence, he ventured still farther, and 
proceeded to examine and refute with great learning and pe- 
netration the absurd doctrines which prevailed in the religious 
system of his age : he not only exhorted the laity to study the 
Scriptures, but translated the Bible into English for general 
use and popular inspection. Whatever were his motives, it is 
certain that these efforts enlarged the notions of mankind, and 
sowed those seeds of a revolution in religion, which were quick- 



144 THE HISTORY OP 

Goed at laigth and brought to maturity by a favourable omn- 
ddence of drcnmstances, in an age when the encreasing growth 
of Uteratore and curiosity naturally led the way to innovation 
«ad improvemait. _ But a visible diminution of the authority 
of the ecdesiastics, in England at least, had been long growing 
firom other causes* The disgust which the laity had contracted 
firom the numerous and arbitrary encroachments both of the 
court of Rome, and of their own clergy, had greatly weaned 
ihe kingdom from superstition; and conspicuous symptoms 
had appeared, on various occasions, of a general desire to 
shake off the intolerable bondage of papal oppression. 



^ 



ENGLISH POETRY. 145 



SECTION X. 



JLiONGLAND's peculiarity of style and versification seems 
to have had many cotemporary imitators. One of these is ft 
nameless author on the fashionable history of Alexander the 
Great: and his poem on this subject is inserted at the end of 
the beautiM Bodleian copy of the French Roman i)' Alexan- 
dre, before mentioned, with this reference*. **Here fayleth 
a prossesse of this romaunce of Alixaunder the whiche pros- 
sesse that &yleth ye schulle fynde at the ende of thys boke 
ywrete in Engeliche ryme.'* It is imperfect, and begins and 
proceeds thus ^ 

Hem Alexander partyd thennys^. 

When this weith at his wil wedinge 

Hadde^ fiid rathe rommede he rydinge 

Thedince so ondrace with his ost 

Alixandre wendeth there wilde contre 

Was wist and wonderfull peple 

That weren proved fill proude^ and prys of hevi helde 

Of bodi went thei thare withoute any wede 

* See above, yoL i. p. 144. It is in << How king Duidimus sente lettres to 
a dififerent hand, yet with Saxon cha- kin^ Alexandre." 

racttts. See ad ode cod. f. 209. It '* How Duidimus enditid to Alexaundre 
has miniatures in water colours. of here levyng.** 

^ There is a poem in the Ashmolean '* How he spareth not Alexandre to telle 
museum, ccmiplete in the former part, hym of hys governance.** 

whidi I believe is the same. MSS. '<How hetelleth Aiexan^of hismau- 
Asfam. 44. It hastwen^-seven passus, metrie." 

and b^^ thus: '<How Alexandre sente aunswere to 

Whener folk fastid and fed, faynewolde ,,„ Dui^usby lettees.** 

thd her How Dmdimus sendyd an answere to 

Some &rand thing, &c „„ ^"^^^^f^i^.V 

** '< How Alexandre sente Duidimus an- 

^ At the end are these rubrics, with other lettre.** ^ 

Void spaces, intended to be filled. « How Alexandre pight a pelyr of mar- 
** How Alexandre remewid to a flood byl ther.** 

that is called Fhison.'* 

VOL. 11. L 



146 THE HISTORY OF 

And had grave on tfie ground many grete cavys 

There here wonnynge was wynturus and somerus 

No syte nor no sur stede sothli thei ne hadde 

But holus holwe in the grouhde to hide hem inne 

Now is that name to mene the nakid wise 

Wan the kiddeste of the cavus that was kinge holde 

Hurde tydinge telle and loknynge wiste 

That Alixaundre with his ost at lede thidince 

To beholden of hom hure hiezest prynce 

Than waies of worshipe wittie and quainte 

With his lettres he let to the lud sende 

Thanne southte thei sone tfie foresaide prynce 

And to the schamlese schalk schewen hur lettres 

Than rathe let the • • • • reden the sonde 

That newe tythinge is tolde in this wise 

The gentil Geneosophistians*^ that gode were of witte 

To the emperour Alixandre here aimsweris wreten 

This is worschip of word worthi to have 

And in conquerer kid in contres manie 

Us is sertefyed seg as we soth heren 

That thou hast ment with the man amcmg us ferre 

But yf thou kyng to us come with caere to figte 

Of us getist thou no good gome we the wame 

For what richesse ... us might you us bi reve 

Whan no wordliche wele is with xm founde 

We ben sengle of us silfe and semen fid bare 

Nouht welde we nowe but naked we wende 

And that we happili her haven of kynde 

May no man but god make us fine 

Thei thou fbnde with thi folke to fighte us alle 

We schulle us kepe on caqgt our cavus withinne 

Nevere werred we with wigth upon erthe 

For we ben hid in oure holis or we harme laache hadde 

Thus saide sothli the loude that thi sente 

And al so cof as the king kende the sawe 

^ Gymnosophists. 



CNGLISH POETRY. 147 

New lettres he let the • . . • bi take 

And with his sawes of soth he hem idle 

That he wolde faire with his foike in a &ire wise 

To bi holden here home and non harme wurke 

So heth the king with hem sente and sithen with his peple 

cosli til hem to kenne of hure &re 

But whan thai sieu the seg with so manye ryde 
Thei war a grison of his grym and wende gref tholie 
F&st heiede thei to holis and hidden there 
And in the cavtrs hem kiept from the king steme, &c. 

Another piece, written in LoQ|^nd^s manner, is entitled. 
The Warbes or the Jewes. This wias a &yourite subject^ 
as I hare before observed, drawn from the Latin historical 
romanee, which passes under the name of Hegesippus be 

EXCIDIO HiEBUSALEM. 

In Tyberyus tyme the trewe emperour* 
Syr Sesar hym [self sessed*] in Rome 
Whyl Pylot was provost under that prynce ryche 
And pewes*] justice also in Judens londis 
Herode under his empire as heritage wolde 
King of Galile was ycallid whan that Crist deyad 
They* Sesar sakles wer, that oft syn hatide 
Throw Pilet pyned he was and put on the rode 
A pyler was down pygt* upon the playne erthe 
His body [bownden*] therto beten with scourgis 
Whippes of [wherebole®} bywent his white sides 
Til lie al on rede blode ran as rayn on the strete 

* [The present text ha* been collated ins the sense have l^een adopted ; though 

widi the Cott. MS. Calig. A. ii. Ttie this perhaps yrould have been wholly 

orthognmhical differences between this superfluous had the original transcript 

and tbie Laud MS. are numerous though beeii correctly made.— .Edit.] 
not important. All its readings improv- 



' suls teysed. . • sewcn. • This is thfs orthography obsenred for; 

bodi thtmg^ and they* It occurs again b^ow : ^ they it,** though it. . * pygt . 
wasdbn. ^bouden. ' quyrbole ;•— -which mi^ have 8tood»; 

since it only destroys' tlkalliterafioh to the eye. 

l2 



i* « 



14$ THlt HISTORY OV 

[Slth'] stockyd hym an a stole with styf menes hondis 

Blyndfelled hym as a be and boffetis hym ragte 

22f you be a prophete of pris prc^hecie they sayde 

Which man her aboute [boiled ^ the laste 

A thrange thorn crown was thraste on his hed 

[They '] casten [up a grete] cry [that hym on] cros. ilowen 

Ffor al the harme that he had, hasted he nogt 

On hym the vyleny to venge that hys ven3rs brosten 

Bot ay taried on the lyme gif they [tume*®] wolde 

Gaf [hem"] i^ace that him spilede they [hit spedde*^ lyte 

[Fourty wynter^^] as yfynde and no fewer, &c.** 

Notwithstanding what has been supposed above, it is not 
quite certain that Longland was the first who led the way in 
this singular species of versification. His Vision was written 
on a popular subject, and is the only poem, composed in this 
capricious sort of metre, which has been printed. It is easy 
to conceive how these circumstances contributed to give him 
the merit of an inventor on this occasion. 

The ingenious doctor Percy has exhibited specimens of two 
or three other poems belon^g to this class ^ One of these 
is entitled Death and Life : it consists of two hundred and 
twenty-nine lines, and is divided into two parts or Fitts. It 
b^ns thus: 

r 

^ taaid, • • 22. MSS. Bibl. BodL Ad psava est apud nos in oradoiie degantuB 

calc. « Hie tractatur beUum Judaicum schema, quod Paromfleon, L e. jis$mUe, 

apud Jenisalem.'* f. 19. b. It is also dicitur: quoties mults dictiones, «b 

in Brit. Mus. Cot MSS. Calio. A. ii. eadem litem incipientes, ex ovdinecollo- 

fol. 109—123. Gyraldus - Cambrensis cantur.*' Ogyg. part iii. sa p. 242. 'See 

savs, Uiat the Weuh and English use also Dr. Percy's judicious Essay on the 

auiteration «in omni sermone exqui- Mjetrxof Pixecx Plowman's Visioks. 
sito." Descript Cambr. cap. xi. p. 889. * Essay on the Metr. of P. P. Vis. 

O' Flal^erty also says of Ihe Irish, <<Non p. 8. seq. 



^Warum reads « Such;" ^Cotton MS. ^Andsytbensetteonasete;** whence 
Ihe genuine reading of die Laud MS. was obvious. ' bobette. Cot MS. 

*.... casten hym with aery and on a cross slowen. ** tone, which if 

intend(sd for atone (like dure for endure^ sperst Gtr dispersed &c ) m^t be allowed ? 
to stand. The probability is that it is an erroneous transcript for iome» . " he. - 
" he spedde. ^ Vf aynt was. Perhaps: xL wynterit was, &c. 



£KGtISH POETEY. 149 

Christ christen king that on the cross tholed^ 
' Hadde paines and passyons to defend our soules ; 
Give us grace on the ground the greatlye to serve 
For that royall red blood that rann from thy side. 

The subject of diis piece b a Vision, containing a contest 
for superiority between Our lady Dame Life, and the t^ly 
fiend Dame Death : who with their several attributes and con- 
comitants are personified in a beautifid vein of allegorical 
painting* Dame Life b thus forcibly described. 

Shee was brighter of her blee than was the bright sonn : 

Her rud redder than the rose that on the rise hangeth : 

Meekely smiling with her mouth, and merry in her lookes ; 

£v^ laughing for love, as shee Uke would : 

And as she came by the bankes the boughes eche one 

They lowted to that ladye and layd forth their branches ; 

Blossomes and burgens breathed fuH sweete, 

Flowers flourished in the frith whc^jre she forth stepped, 

And the grasse that was gray grened belive. 

The figure of Death follows, which is equally bold and ex- 
pressive. Another piece of this kind, also quoted by doctor 
Percy, is entitled Chevelere Assigne, or De Cigne, that is, 
the Knight of the Swan. This is a romance which is extant in 
a prose translation from the French, among Mr. Garrick's^ 
noble collection of old plays^. We must not forget, that 
among the royal manuscripts in the British Museum, there is 
a French metrical romance on this subject, entitled L'Ystoire 
DU CHEVALIER AU SiGNE^. Our English pocm begins thus^: 

f K. vol. 10. « Imprinted at London ^ See MSS. Cott. Cauo. A. ii. f. 109^ 

by me VfTyUUm Copland.*' There b an 123. 

edition on parchment by W. de Worde^ [The celebrated Godfrey.of Bidlogno 

15 1 2. ** Newly translated out of Frenshe was said to have been lineally descended 

into Englyshe at thinstiMcion of the from the Chevalier au Cigne. Melanges 

pi^yMaunt prynce lorde £dward duke d'une Gr. Bibloth. vol. v. c. iii. p. 148. 

of Buckyn^ame.*' Here I understand The tradition is still current in the 

FVench prose. Duchy of Cleves, and forms one of the 

* 15 £. vi. 9. fol. And in th^ Royal mo6tinterestingpiecesinOtmar*s Yolks- 
library at Paris, MS. 7192. ** Le Roman sagen. It must have obtained an early 
du Chevalier au Cigne en vers.'* Montf. and general circulation in Flanders ; for 
Cat. MSS. il. p. 789. Nicolaes de Klerc, who wrote at the 



I5Q THE HISTOBY OW 

AU-wddynge god, whene it is his wylle, 
Wde he wereth his werke with his owene honde. 
For ofte haxmes were hente that helpe we ne mygte 
Nere the hygnes of hym that lengeth in heyene 
For this, &c. 

This alliterative measure, unaccompanied with rhyme, and 
induding many peculiar Saxon idioms appropriated to poetry, 
remained in use so low as the sixteenth century. In doctor 
Percy's Antient BaUadSj there is one of this class called Thb 
Scottish Feilde, contauiing a very circjimstfljitial narrative 
of the battle of Flodden fought in the year 1513. 

In some of the earliest of our specimens of old English 
poetry^, we have Icmg ago seen that alliteration was esteemed 
a fashionable and favourite ornament of verse. For the $8ke 
of throwing the subject into one view, and fiuther illustrating 
what has been here said concerning it, I chuse to. cite in this 
place a very antient hymn to the Virgin Mary, never priiU^, 
where this affectation professedly predcminates^. 

I. 

Hail beo yow^ Marie, moodur and may, 
Mylde, and meke, and merciable; 
Heyl folliche fruit of sothfast fay, 
Agayn vche stryf studefast and stable ! 

commencement of the 14th century about 80,000 verses, was b^un by one 
(1S18), thus refers to it in his Brabant Benax or Renaux, and finisl^ed by Gan- 
sche Yeesten: dor de Douay.— Edit.] 

Om dat van Brabant die Hertoghen L^!,^!!!'!^ r^^n ««««««,•«♦. 

V^^^rrnofs dicke syn beloghen thL^^n^No^af l^xon^SSSe 

^dc^^ gunmen metienSwane hymn to Oie Virgin Maiy. NEaTr^v. 

Daar by hebbics my irenomen ane if^^A^ j L ** u ^^' « A w 

Dat k L ««»heit 4l out decken f- »«>• cod. meiflbran. 8|ro. « On jOb 

Ende in Duitsche Rime vertrecken. «^"» to ure lefiii. Vm is, A good 

prayer tQ our kufy^ 

l;«:t*rr6K2^''.Slwt 'Wrrernril.en.o^feynremri, 
thattheycan^wUhaSux»t,l haye un- ^^T •'""r l<»ni.. m leoue ieptu 
d^taken to disclose the truth, and to ^ See^mepageant-poetry, fuUofalli- 
propound it in Dutch Rhyine. See deration, written in the reign of HeofX 
Van Wynut supra» p. 270. The French the Seventh, X^^lanid. ColJL iii» App. 18Q» 
romance upon this subject consisting of edit. 1770. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 151 

Heil sothfast soul in vche a say, 

Undur the son is non so able. 

Heil logge that vr lord in lay. 

The formast that never was founden in &ble, 

Heil trewe, trouthfull, and tretable, 

Heil cheef i chosen of chastite, 

Heil homely, hende, and amyable 

To prey e for us to thl sone so /re / Ave. 

II. 

Heil stem, that never stinteth liht; 
Heil bush, brennyng that never was brent ; 
Heil rihtfiil rulere of everi riht, 
Schadewe to schilde that scholde be schent, 
Heil, blessed be yowe blosme briht. 
To trouthe and trust was thine entent ; 
Heil mayden and modur, most of miht. 
Of all mischeves and amendement; 
Heil spice sprong that never was spent, 
Heil trone of the trinitie; 
Heil soiene™ that god us sone to sent 
Yawepreyejbr us thi sone fire ! Ave. 

ni. 

Heyl hertely in holinesse. 
Heyl hope of help to heighe and lowe, 
Heyl strength and stel of stabylnesse, 
Heyl wyndowe of hevene wowe, 
Heyl reson of rihtwysnesse. 
To vche a caityf comfort to knowe, 
Heyl innocent of angemesse, 
Vr takel, vr tol, that we on trowe, 
Heyl frend to all that beoth fortth flowe 
Heyl liht of love, and of bewte, 
Heyl brihter then the blod on snowe, 
Ycmi preyefor us thi sone sofre ! Av£. 



m 



F. Seyen. Sa/Dn* 



152 THE HISTORY OP 

IV. 

Heyl mayden, heyl modur, heyl martir trowe, 
Heyl kyndly i knowe confessour, 
Heyl evenere of old lawe and newe, 
Heyl buildor bold of cri^tes hour, 
Heyl rose higest of hyde and hewe, 
Of all flruytes feirest fflour, 
Heyl turtell trustiest and trewe^ 
Of all trouthe thou art tresour, 
Heyl puyred princesse of paramour, 
Heyl blosme of brere brihtest of ble, 
Heyl owner dfeorthly honour, 
Yawepreyefor us thi sone so /re ! Ave, &c. 

V. 

Heyl hende, heyl holy emperesse, 
Heyle queene eorteois, comely, and kynde, 
Heyl distruyere rfeveri strisse, 
Heyl mender of everi monnes mynde, 
Heil bodi that we ouht to blesse. 
So feythfiil frend may never mon fynde, 
Heil levere and lovere of largenesse 
Swete and swetest that never may swynde, 
Heil botencre of everie bodi blynde, 
Heil borgun brihtes of all bounte, 
Heyl trewore then the wode bynde. 
Yaw preyefor us thi sone sofre ! Ave. 

VI. 

Heyl modur, heyl mayden, heyl hevene queue, 

Heyl gatus of paradys,, 

Heyl sterre of the se that ever is sene, 

Heyl riche, royall, and ryhtwys, 

Heyl burde i blessed mote yowe bene, 

Heyl perle of al perey the pris, 

Heyl schadewe in vche a schour schene, , 

Heyl fairer thae. that iflour de lys, 



CNaLIflH PO£TRY. J53 

Heyl cher chosen that never nas chis 

Heyl chef chamber of charite 

Heyl in wo that ever was wis 

Yowe pr eye for us thi sone sojre J Ave, &c. &c. ■ 

These rude stanzas remind us of the Greek hymns ascribed 
to Orpheus, which entirely consist of a cluster of the appella- 
tions appropriated to each divinity. 

* MS. Vernon, f. 122. In thk nui- who often fung to lier, and ctOs him ber 
nuscript are sereral other fneces of this joeulator, MSS. Jamis* xxvi p* 32.—" 
rt. AnnmoNS.] 

£Tbe Holy Viipn a^ipears to a priest 



154 THE HISTORY OF 



SECTION XL 



Although this work is professedly confined to England, 
yet I cannot pass over t^o Scotch poets of this period, who 
have adorned the Englii^ language by a strain of versification, 
expression, and poetical imagery, fiur superior to their i^; 
and who consequently deserve to be mentioned in a general 
review of the progress of our national poetry. They have 
written two heroic poems. One of them is John Barbour, 
archdeacon of Aberdeen. He was educated at Oxford; and 
Rymer has printed an instrument for his safe passage into 
England, in order to prosecute his studies in that university, 
in the years 1 357 and 1 365 \ David Bruce, king of Scotland, 
gave him a pension for life, as a reward for his poem called 
the History op Robert Bruce, king of the Scots^ It 
was printed at Glasgow in the year 1671 ^. A battle fought 
by lord Douglas is thus described. 

Quhen thir twa bataillis wer 

Assemblyt, as I said yow er. 

The Stewart Waltre that than was. 

And the gud lord als of Douglas, 

In a batail quhen that thai saw 

The erle, for owtyn dred or aw, 

Assembill with his cumpany 

On all that folk sa sturdely, 

For till help him thai held thair way, 

[And their battle with good array,] 

* Feed, vi SI. 478. taken fh>m Dr. Jamieson's edition of 
*» T'anner, Bibl. p. 73. the Bruce, 4to. £din. 1821.— >£j>it.} 

* I2mo. [The present text has been 



ENGLISH PO£TBY. J55 

Besid the erle a litil by^ 

And assemblyt sa hardely. 

That thair fayis feld thair cummyn wele; 

For with wapyimys stalwart of stele, 

Thai dang upon with all thair mycht, 

Thar fayis resawyt weile, Dc hycht, 

With swerdis speris, and with mase. 

The batail thar so feloune was, 

And swarychtgret spilling of bluA 

That on the erd the floussis stud^ 

The Scottismen sa will thaim bar, 

And swa gret slauchter maid thai thar, 

And fra sa fele the lyvis rewyt. 

That aU the feld bludy wes lewyt. 

That lyme thar thre batailis wer 

All syd besid fechtend will ner, 

Thar mycht men her many dint^ 

And wapynnys apon armuris stynl^ 

And se tmixble knychtis and stedis, 

And mony rich and reale w^dis 

Foully defoullyt wndre fete, 

Sum held on loft, sum tj^t the suet. 

A lang quhile thus fechtpnd thai war. 

That men na noyis mycht heir thar. 

Men hard noucht bat granys and dintis 

That slew fyr, as men slayis on flyntis. 

They faucht ilk aae sa ^erly, 

That thai maid noiher noyis na cry, 

Bot dang on othyr.at thair mycht. 

With ii^pnys that war bumyst bryeht 

The arowys alsua thyk thar flaw, 

(That thay mycht say wek, that thaim saw) 

That thai a hydwys schour gan ma; 

For quhar thai fell, Ik wndreta, 

Thai left eftir thaim taknyng. 

That sail ned, as I trow, leching. 



156 THE HisroiiY or 



The Inglis archeris schot sa fast, 

That mycht thair schot haff ony last, 

It had bene hard to Scottismen. 

Bot king Robert, that wdie gan ken. 

That thair archeris war peralouss. 

And thair schot rycht hard and grewouss, 

Ordanyt forouth the assemble, 

Hys marschel, with a gret menye^ 

Fyve hundre armyt in to stele, ! 

That on lycht horss war horsyt welle, \ 

'Boy to pryk amang the archeris. 

And swa assaile thaim with thair speris. 

That thai na layser haiiF to schute. | 

This marschel that Ik of mutie^ 

That Schyr Robert of Key th was cauld. 

As Ik befor her has yow tauld« 

Quhen he saw the batailUs sua 

Assembill, and togidder ga. 

And saw the archeris schoyt stoutly, 

With all thaim off his cumpany, 

In hy apon thaim gan he rid. 

And our tuk thaim at a sid. 

And ruschyt amang thaim sa rudly^ 

Stekand thaim so dispitously. 

And in siik fusoun berand doun. 

And slayand thaim for owtyn ransoun. 

That thai thaun scalyt euirilkane ; 

And, fira that tyme forth, thar was nana 

That assemblyt, schot to ma^ 

Quhen Scottis archeris saw that thai sua 

War rebutyt, thai woux hardy. 

And with all thair mycht schot egrely 

Amang the horss men that thar raid. 

And woundis wid to thaim thai maid, 

And slew of thaim a full gret dele. 

TJiai bar thaim hardely and welje ; 



ENGLISH POETRT. 157 

For fra thair fayis archeris war 
Scalyt, as I said till yow ar, 
That ma na thiu war be gret things 
Swa that thai dred nocht thair schoting. 
Thai woux sa hardy, that thaim thoucht, 
Thai suld set all thair &yi8 at nocht^ 

The following is a specimen of our author's talent at rural 
description. The verses are extremely soft. 

This wes in the moneth of May, 
Quhen byrdis S3mgis in ilk spray, 
Melland thair notis with seymly soune. 
For softnes of the suet sesoun, 
And levys of the branchys spredis. 
And blomys brycht besid thaim bredis. 
And feldis ar strowyt with flouris 
Well sawerand of ser colouris. 
And all thing worthis, blyth and gay.^ 

The other wrote a poem on the exploits of Sir William 
Wallace. It was first printed, in 1601. And very lately re- 
printed at Edinburgh in quarto, with the following tide, ^^ The 
acts and deeds of the most &mous and valiant champion Sir 
William Wallace, knight, of EUerslie. Written by Blind 
Harry in the year 1361. Together with Arnaldi Blair 
Relationes. Edinburgh, 1758.'* No circumstances of the 
life of our blind bard appear in Dempster ^ This poem, which 
consists of twelve books, is translated from the Latin of Robert 
Blare, or Blair, chaplain to Sir William Wallace 8^. The 

* p. 262. ^ p. 326. Maister Jhonx Blatr was ofit in that 
' See Dempst. viu. 349. 662. ' message, 

* Tit. GxsTA WiLLEtm Wallas. A w<Mrthy clerky bath wyss and rycht 
See Dempst. ii. 148. He flourished in sawage, 

ISOCX He has left another Latin poem, Lewyt he was befor in Partss town, &c 

Db ubxbata ttraknidx Scotia. Ar- HewasthemanthatpryndpaUwndirtoky 

nald Blair, mentioned in the tide page That fyrst compiid in dyt the Latyne 

in die tez^ probably Robert's brother, buk, 

if not the same, was also chaplain to Off Wallace lyfi^ rydit famouss of re- 

WaUaoe, and monk of Dumferling nowne, 

about the year 1327. Relat. ut supr. And Thomas Gray persone of Libkr- 

p. 1. But see p. 9. 10. In the fihh touvb, 

bpok of the Scotch poem we hav6 this With him thai war and put in stoiiy all 

passage, p. 94. v. 533. Oftt ane or bath mekill of his traTaiU, &c. 



158 THE HISTORY OB' 

following is a descriptioft of the morning, and of Wallace arm- 
ing himself in his tent. ^ 

In till a waill be a small rywer &yr, 

On athir sid quhar wyld der maid repayr5 

Set wachis owt that wysly couth thaim kepe^ 

To souppar went, and tymysly thai slq>e, 

Off meit and sleip thai cess with suffisiance, 

The nycht was m^prk, ourdrayff the dyrkfidl chance, 

The meiy day sprang fra the oryent, 

With bemys brycht enlumynyt the Occident, 

Efter Titan, Phebus wp rysyt fayr, 

Heich in the sper, the'signes maid declayr. 

Zepherus began his morow com'ss. 

The swete wapour thus fra the ground resourss; 

The humyll breyth doun fra the hewyn awaill 

In every meide, bathe fyrth, forrest and daaiL 

Tlie der rede amang the rochis rang 

Throuch greyn branchis quhar byrdis blytUy sang. 

With joyus woice in hewynly armony. 

Than Wallace thocht it was no tyme to lyr 

He croyssit him, syne sodeynli upraiss. 

To tak the ayr out off his palyon gais 

Maister Jhon Blar was redy to rawess, 

In gud entent syne bownyt to the mess. 

Quhen it was done, Wallace can him aray, 

In his armour, quhilk gudly was and gay; 

His schenand schoyis that bumyst was full beyn. 

His leg-bames he clappyt on so dene, 

PuUane greis he braissit on fiill fast^ 

A closs bymy with mony sekyr clasp, 

Breyst-plait, brasaris, that worthy was in wer : 

Besid him fiurtib Jop couth his basnet ber ; 

His glytterand glowis grawin on aither sid. 

He semyt weill in battaill till abid. 

* P. S99. &. Tiii. V. 6S, The alitor [Dr. JamieBOti*s text hM been adopted 
seem&to bave modernised the spiling, for this edition.— Edit. ] 



E^NGLISH POETRY. ]59 

His gud gyrdyll, and Syne his burly brandy 
A staff off steyll he gryppjrt in his hand 
The ost him Uyst, &c. 

Adam Wallake and Bmd fiurth with him yeid 
By a itevir, throu out a floryst mdd. 
And as thai walk atour the feyldys greyn, 
Out c^the south thai saw quhar at the queyn 
Towart the ost come ridand sobyrly, 
And fyfly ladyes was in hyr cumpany, &c. 

The four following lines on the spring are uncommonly 
terse and elegant 

Oentill Jupiter, with his myld ordinance, 
Bath erb and tre revertis in plesance ; 
And fresch Flora hir fiomy mantill spreid, 
In euery waill bath hop, hycht, hill, and meide. ^ 

A different season of the year is here strongly painted. 

The dyrk regioun apperand wondyr &st. 

In November quhen October was past. 

The day faillit throu rycht courss worthit schort, 

Till banyst men that is no gret comfort: > 

With tjiiair power in pethis worthis gang, 

Hewy thai think quhen at the nycht is lang. 

Thus Wallace s^w the nychtis messynger; 

Phebus had lost his fyry bemys cler: 

Out of the wood thai durst nocht turn that tyd 

For adversouris that in thair way wald byde. ' 

The battle of Black-Emside shews our author a master in 
another style of painting. 

Kerl^ beheld on to the bauld Heroun, 
Upon Fawdoun as he was lukaud doune, 
A suttell straik wpwart him tuk that tide 
Wndir the chokkeis the grounden suerd gart glid, 

*» Lib. ix. V. 22. ch. i. p. 250. * Lib. t. ch. i. p. 78. v. 1. 



160 THE HISTORY OF 

By the gude mayle, bathe halss tod his cr ag-bayne 
In sondyr struk; thus endyt that cheftayne, 
To grounde he fell, feile folk about him thrang, 
Tresoune, thai criyt, traytouris was thaim amang. 
Kerlye, with that, fled out seme at a side, 
His falow iStewyn than thocht no tyme to bide. 
The fray was gret, and fast away thai yeid, 
Sawch towart Era; thus chapyt thai of dreid. 
Butler for woo ofFwepyng mycht nocht stynt 
Thus raklesly this gud knycht haiff thai tynt. 
They demyt all that it was Wallace men, 
Or ellis himself thocht thai couth nocht him ken ; 
He is richt ner, we sail him haiff bot faill. 
This febill woode may him litdll awaill. 
Fourtie thar past agayne to Sanct Jhonstoun, 
With this dede corss, to berysing maid it boune. 
Partyt thar men, syne diverss wayis raid, 
A gret power at Dipplyn still thar baid. 
To Dalwryoch the Butler past bot let, 
At syndry furdis the gait thai umbeset. 
To kepe the wode quhill it was, day thtd thocht 
As Wallace thus in the thik forrest socht, 
For his twa men in mynd he had gret payne. 
He wist nocht weiU, gif thai war tayne or slayne. 
Or chapyt haile be ony jeperte. 
Threttene war left with him, no ma had he ; 
In the Gask-hall thair lugyng haif thtd tayne. 
Fyr gat thai sone, bot meyt than had thai nane; 
Twa scheipe thai tuk besid thaim of a fauld, 
Ordanyt to soupe in to that seemly hauld : 
Oraithit in haist sume fiide for thaim to dycht: 
So hard thai blaw rude hornys wpon hycght. 
Twa sende he furtfa to luk quhat it mycht be; 
Thsi baid rycht lang, and no tithingis herd he, 
Bot boustouss noyis so brymly blewand fast ; 
So othir twa in to the woode furth past 



ENGLIBH POETRY. 161 

Nane come agayne^ bot boustously can blaw. 
In to gret ire he send thaim fiirth on raw. 
Quhen he allajne Wallace was lewyt thar, 
The awfuU blast aboundyt mekill mayr; 
Then trowit he weill thai had his ludgyng sejme; 
His suerd he drew of nobill mettall keyne, 
Syn furth he went quhar at he hard the home. 
With out the dur Fawdoun was him bef6m» 
As till his sycht, his awne hed in his hand; 
A croyss he maid quhen he saw him so stand. 
At Wallace in the hed he swaket thar, 
And he in haist sone hynt it by the hair, 
Syne out agayn at him he couth it cast. 
In ti]l his hart he was gretlye agast 
Rycht Weill he trowit that was no spreit of man, 
It was sum dewill, at sic malice began. 
He wyst no waill thar hmgar for to bide. 
Up throuch the hall thus wicht Wallace can glid. 
Till a closs stair, the burdis raiff in twyne, 
Fyfteiie fute large he hp out of that in. 
Wp the wattir he sodeynelye couth fair, 
Agayne he blent quhat perance he sawe thair, 
Him thocht he saw Fawdoun, that hugly syr. 
That hail] hall he had set in a fyr ; 
A gret raftre he had intill his hand. 
Wallace as than no lan^^ar walde he stand. 
Off his gud men fidl grTmervaiU had he. 
How thai war tynt throuch his feyle &ntas6. 
Traistis rycht weill all this was suth in deide^ 
Supposs that it no poynt be of the creide. 
Power thai had with Lucifer that fell. 
The tyme quhen he partyt fra hewyn to helL 
Be sic myscheiffgiff his men mycht be lost, 
Drownyt or slayne amang the Inglis ost; 
Or quhat it was in likness of Faudoun. 
Quhilk brocht his men to suddand confiisioun ; 

VOL. u. M 



162 THE HISTORY OP 

Or gif die man endyt in ewUl entent, 

Sum wikkit spreit agayne for him present 

I can nocht spek of sic divinite, 

To clerkis I will lat all sic matteris be : 

Bot of Wallace furth I will yow tell. 

Quhen he w^rwent of that perell fell, 

Yeit glad wes he that he had chapyt swa, 

Bot for his men gret mumyng can he ma. 

Flayt by him self to the Maker off buffe 

Quhy he sufferyt he suld sic pa)niys pruff. 

He wyst nocht weijl giff it wes Croddis will ; 

Bycht or wrang his fi^un to fuUfill, 

Hade he plesd God, he trowit it mycht nocht be 

He suld him thoill in sic perplexite. 

Bot gret curage in his mynd evir draifi^ 

Off Inglismen thinkand amendis to haiff. 

As he was thus walkand be him allayne 

Apoii Em side, md^and a pytuouss mayne, 

Schyr Jhone Buder, to wache the furdis rycht^ 

Out fra his m^i of Wallace had a sypht; 

The myst wes went to the montanys -agayne^ 

Till him he raid, quhar at he maid his mayne. 

On loude he sperde, quhat art thow walkis that gait? 

A trew man, Schyr, thodit my wiagis be layt; 

Erandis I pass fra Doun to my lord, 

SchLr Jhon Sewart, the rycht for till record, 

In Doune is now, new cummyn fra the king. 

Than Butler said; this is a selcouth thing, 

T^ou leid all out, thow has beyne with Wallace, 

I sail the knaw, or thow cum of this place. 

Till him Jie stert the courser wondyr wicht, 

Drew out a.suerd, so maid him for to lycht 

Ab9wn the kne gud Wallace has him tayne. 

Throw the and brawn in sondyr stmik the bajne. 

Derfly to dede the knyxJit ML on the land. 

Wallace the horss sone sesyt in his hand, 



ENGLISH POETRY. 1G3 

Ane awkwart strcdk syne tuk him in die) stede. 
His crag in twa; thus wajs the Butler dede. 
Ane Inglissman saw thair chiftayne wes slayn, 
A sper in reyst he kest with all his mayne, 
On Wallace draifF, fra the horss him to ber ; 
Warly he wrocht, as worthi man in wer. 
The sper he wan with oiityn mor abaid. 
On horss he lap, and throw a gret rout r^id ; 
To Dawryoch he knew the forss full weill : 
Befor him come feyU stuflyt in fyne steiU. 
He straik the fyrst, but baid, in the blasoune, 
Quhill horss and man bathe flet the wattir doune. 
Ane othir sone doune fra his horss he bar, 
Stampyt to grounde, and drownyt with outyn mar. 
The thrid he hyt in his harness of steyU 
Throw-out the cost, the sper to brak sum deyll. 
The gret power than efflir him can ryd. 
He saw na waill no langar thar to byd« 
His bumist brand braithly in hand he bar, 
Quham be hytt rycht thai folowit him no mar. 
To stuff the chass feyll frekis folowit &st, 
Bot Wallace maid the gayast ay agast. 
The mur he tuk, and throw thair power yeid. 
The horss was gud, bot yeit he had gret dreid 
For iailyeing or he wan to a strenth, 
The chass was gret, scalyt our breid and lenth. 
Throw Strang danger thai had him ay in sych,t. 
At the Blak&rd thar Wallace doun can lycht. 
His horss stu%t, for the way was depe ftnd lang, 
A large gret myile wichtly on fute couth gang. 
Or he was horst rydaris about him kest, 
He saw ftdl weyll lang swa he mycht nocht le$t. 
Sad men in deid wpon him can renew. 
With retomyng that nycht twenty he skw> 
The forseast ay rudly rabutyt he, 
Kepyt hys horss, and rycht wysly can fle, 

M 2 



164^ THE HISTORY OP 

Quhill that he cum the myrckest mur amang. 
His horss gaiffour, and wald no forthyr gang." 

I will dose these specimens with an instance of our author's 
allegorical invention. 

In that slummir cummand him thocht he saw, 
Ane agit man fast towart him couth draw, 
Sotie be the hand he hynt him haistele, 
I am, he said, in wiage chargit with the. 
A suerd him gaiff off burly bumist steill, 
Gud sone, he said, this brand thou sail bruk weill. 
Offtopas stone him thocht the plumat was, 
Baith hilt and hand all glitterand lik the glas. 
Der sone, he said, \ire tary her to lang, 
Thow sail go se quhar wrocht is mekill wrang; 
Than he him lad till a montane on hycht. 
The warld him thocht he mycht se with a sicht 
He left him thar, sjme sone fra him he went» 
Tharof Wallace studiit in his entent. 
Till se him mar he had still gret desyr, 
Tharwith he saw begyne a felloime fyr, 
Quhilk braithly brynt on breid throu all the land^ 
Scotland atour, fra Ross to Sulway-sand. 
Than sone till him thar descendyt a qweyne, 
Inlumyt, lycht, schynand full brycht and scheyne ; 
In hyr presens apperjrt so mekill lycht. 
At all the fyr scho put out off his sycht, 
Gaiff him a wand off colour reid and greyne, . 
. With a saflyr sanyt his face and eyne, 
Welcum, scho said, I cheiss the as my luff; 
Thow art grantyt be the gret God abufi^ 
Till help pepill that sufferis mekill wrang, 
With the as now I may nocht tary lang. 
Thou sail return to thi awne oyss agayne, 
Thi derrast kyne ar her in mekiU payne; 



ENGLISH POETRY* 165^ 

This rycht regioun thow mon redeme it all, 
Thi last reward in erd sail be bot small; 
Let nocht tharefor, tak redress off this myss. 
To thi reward thou sail haiff lestand blyss. 
Off hir rycht hand scho betaucht him a bok, 
Hmnylly thus hyr leyff full sone scho tuk, 
On to the cloud ascendyt off his sycht 
Wallace brak up the buk in all his myght 
In thre partis the buk weiU writyn was, 
The fyrst writyng was gross letteris off bras, 
The secound gold, the thrid was silver scheyne. 
Wallace merveld quhalt'this writyng suld meyne; 
To rede the buk he besyet him so fiust. 
His spreit agayne to walkand mynd is past. 
And wp he raiss, syne sodandly furth went 
This clerk he &nd, and tald him his entent 
Off this wisioun, as I haiff said befor, 
Completly throuch; Quhat nedis wordis mor. 
Der sone, he said, my witt unabill is 
To runsik sic, for dreid I say off myss; 
l^t I sail deyme, thocht my cunnyng be small, 
God grant na chargis efflir my wordis falL 
Saynct Androw was gaiff the that suerd in hand. 
Off sancds he is the wowar off Scotland; 
That montajnt^e is quhar he the had on hycht, 
Knawlage to haiff off wrang that thow mon rycht; 
The fyr sail be fell tithingis, or ye part, 
Quhilk will be tald in mony syndry art 
I can nocht witt quhat qweyn at it suld be^ 
Quhethir Fortoun, or our Lady so fire, 
Lykly it is, be the brychtnes scho brocht, 
Modyr off him that all this warld has wrocht 
The prety wand, I trow, be myn entent, 
Assignes rewUe and cruell jugement; 
The red colour, quha graithly wndrestud, 
Betaknes all to gret battaill and blud ; 



l^ tHE HiStORY OF 

The greyn, curage, that thow art now amang, 
In strowble wer thou sail cohteyne full lang; 
Thfe saphyr stayne scho blissit the with all, 
Is lestand grace, will God, sail to the fall ; 
The thrynfald buk is bot this brokyn land, 
Thou mon radenle be Worthines offhand ; 
The bras lettris betdkjiinys bot to this. 
The gret oppi-ess off wer and mekill myss. 
The quhilk thow sail bryng to the rycht agaynfe, 
Bot thou tharfore mon suffer mekil payne ; 
The gold takynnis honour tod wortfiinas, 
Wictottr in armys, that thou sail haiff be grace; 
The silver shawis cleyne lyff and hewynys blyss. 
To thi reward that mjrrth thou sail nocht mySs, 
Dreid nocht tharfor, be out off all despayr. 
Forthir as how heroff I can na main* 

About tlie present period, historical romances ctf recent 
events seem to have commenced* Many of these appear to 
have been written by heralds*^. In the library of Worcester 
college at Oxford, there is a poem in French, reciting the 
atchievements of Edward the Black Prince^ who died in the 
year 1 376* It Is in the short verse of romance^ and was written 
by tlie prince's herald, who att^ided close by his person in all 
his battles, according to the established mode of those times. 
This Was John Chandois-herald, frequently mentioned in 
Froissart In this piece, which is of considerable length, the 
names of the Englishmen are properly spelled, the chronology 
exact, and the epitaph ', forming a sort of peroration to the 

* [In a subsequent p^ui of this Work, to Mr. Macpherson's edftroh of Wyn- 

Sectionxxxii.Wf|iton has acknowledged toun*s ''Orygynale Cronykil of Scot- 

his error in making this early mention land ;*' Mr. Ellis's Specimens of the 

of blind Harry; who lived in the latter Early English Poets; and Mr. Irving's 

half of the fifteenth century. The Lives of £e ScottisJi Poets. j-i-Enrr.] 

Scottish poet, whose rank the blind min- *■ See Le Pere Menestrier, Cheval* 

strel is thus made to a^ume, is Andrew Anden. c v. p. 225. Par. 12mo. 

of Wyntoun, a writer unknown to War- ^ It is a fair and beautiful manuscript 

ton. As it does hot fall within the scope on vellum. It is an oblong octavo, and 

of the present edition to supply omis- * formerly belonged to Sir WiUiam Le 

sions of this kind, the reader is referred Neve Clarencieux herald. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 16*7 

narrative, the same as was ordered by the prince in his V^ill"** 
This poem, indeed, may seem to claim no place here, because 
it hai^)ens to be written in the French language : yet, exclu- 
sive of its subject, a circumstance I have mentioned, that it 
was composed by a herald, deserves particular attention, and 
throws no small illustration on the poetry of this era. Hiere 
are several proofs which indicate that many romances of the 
fourteenth century, if not in verse, at least those writteti iii 
prose, were the work of heralds. As it was their duty to attend 
their masters in battle, they were enabled to reccnrd the most 
important transactions of the field with fidelity. It was custo- 
mary to appoint none to thisofiice but persons of discernment^ 
address^ experience, and some degree of educatimi". At so- 

*" Tlie heroes epitaph is frequent in dead on the field, *' the blood and the 

romances. In thie fVench romance of grass, the green and the red, being so 

Saintr]^ written about this time, hi& completely mingled in one ffenend 

epitaph is introduced. mass," that no one perceived him.— 

*LePereMeneiktrier,CheTal.Ancien. Friedrich v. Chreucpeckh served in 

ut supr. p. 225. ch. v. « Que Ton croyoit Scotland, England, and Ireland. In the 

avoir V Esprit,** &c. Feron says that latter country he joined an army of 

th^ gave this attendance in order to 60,000 (!) men, about to form besiege 

make a true report. L*Instit. des Roys of a town called Trachtal(?); but the 

et Herauds, p. 44% a. See also Favin. army broke up without an engagement. 

pi 57. See a curious description in On his return from thence to England, 

Fraissart, of an interview between the the fleet in which he sailed, fell in witii 

Chandois-he^d, mentioned above, and a Spanish squadron, and destroyed or 

a marshal of France, where they enter captured six-ond-twenty of the enemy, 

into a warm and very serious dispute These events occurred between the yedrs 

concerning the <imcesd*amour borne by 1332— S6. Albrechtv. Niimberff ibl- 

each army. lav. i. ch. 161. lowed Edward III. into Scotland and 

[A curious collection of German appears to have been en^ged in the 

poans, evidently compiled ttoxa these battle of Halidown-hiH.— But the " er- 

deraldic registers, has recently been dis- rant knight *' most intimatdy connected 

covered in the library of Prince l^nzen- with Enslandj was Hans ▼. Traum 

dorf. The reader will find an account Jle jcnned the banner of Edward lit. 

of them and their author Peter Suchen- at the siege of Calais, during which he 

wirt (who lived at the close of the four- was engaged in cutting off sohie sup^fieis 

teenth century) in the 14th volume of the sent by sea, for the rehef 6f the bei^eged; 

Vienna Annals of Literature {JahrhU^ He does ample justice to the valour and 

cker der LkeratuT, Wien. 1814). They heroic resistance of the garrison; who 

are noticed here for th^ occasional meh- did not surrender till their stock of lea- 

tion of English afiairs; The lifb of ther >, rope and similar materials,i—il7hich 

Burkhard v. EUerbach reebuhts the vie- had long been their only fG^,-^w^ ex- 

tory gaii^ by the English at the battle hausted. Eats were^sold at a croWn 

of Cresi^ ; in which this terror o^f Prus- each. In the year 1356 he attended the 

Bian and Saracen infidels was left for Black Prince in the caihjpalgn which 



1 The original reads « schuch, sii, chvnt Und hewt;" the two last I interpret 
« kind and baut." 



168 THE HISTORY aP 

lemn tournaments they made an essential part of the ceremony. 
Here they had an opportmiity of observing accoutrements, armo- 
rial distinctions, the number and appearance of the spectators, 
together with the various events of the tumey, to the best 
advantage : and they were afterwards obliged to compile an 
ample register of this strange mixture of foppery and ferocity**. 
They were necessarily connected with the minstrells at public 
festivals, and thence acquired a f^ility of reciting adventures. 
A learned French antiquary is of opinion, that antientiy the 
French heralds, called Hiratucj were the same as the minstrells, 
and that they sung metrical tales at festivab p. They frequentiy 
received fees or largesse in common with the minstrells \ They 
travelled into different countries, and saw the fashions of foreign 

preceded the battle of Poictiers; and (French?) shqi, which he brou^t Into 
on the morning of that eventful fight, an English port and presented to Ed- 
Prince Edward honoured him with the ward.— It is to be hc^ied these poems 
Important charge of bearing the En- wiU be published. The slight analysis 
gl^ standard. The battle is described of their contents given by Mr. Primisser, 
with considerable anixnation. The hos- and on which this note is founded, is 
tile armies advanced on foot, the archers just sufficient to excite, without gratify- 
formine the vanguard. " This was not ing, curiosity.— Edit.] 
a time, says the poet, '< for the inter- ® « L'un des principaux fonctions 
change of chivalric civilities, for friendly des Herautes d'armes etoit se trouver au 
greetings, and cordial love: no man jousts, &c ouilsgardoientlcs ecus pen- 
asked his fellow for a violet or a rose * ; dans, recevoient les noms et les blasons 
and many a hero, like the ostrich, was des chevaliers, en tenoient RsoisraK, et 
obliged to disest both iron and steel, or en composoient recueils,*' &c Menestr. 
to overcome m death the sensations in- Orig. des Armoir. p. 180. See also 
fficted by the spear and the javeUn. The p. 119. These roisters are mentioned 
fidd resounded with the clash of swords, in Perceforest, xi. 68. 77. 
cluba, and battle-axes ; and with shouts ' Carpentier, SuppL Du-Cang. Gloss, 
of Nater Dam and Sand Jort,** But Xat. p. 750. tom. ii. 
Von TVaun, mindful of the trust reposed ** Thus at St. George's feast at Wind* 
in him, rushed forward to encounter the sor we have, *' Diversis heraldis et mi- 
standard-bearer of France : <* He drove nistralHs," &c Amu 21 Ric ii. 9 
bis spear through the vizer of his adver- Hen. vL Apud Anstis, Ord. Gart L 
sary— the enemy's banner sunk to the 56. 108. And again. Exit. PeU. M. 
earth never to rise again— Von Traun aniu 22 Edw. ui. ** Maj^stro Andrea 
fUanted his foot upon its staff; when Roy Norreys, [a, herald^] Lybeldn ie 
the king of France was made captive. Piper, et Hanakmo filio suo, et sex aliis 
and the battle was won." For his gal- menekraUit regis in denariis eis liberatb 
lantry displayed on this day, Edward de dono regis, in subsidium expensanim 
granted him a pension of a hundred suarum, Iv.s. iv.<i.*'— -Exit. PdL P. 
marks. He is afterwards mentioned as ann. SS Edw. ii. « Willielmo Volaunt 
beiiiff intrusted by Edward III. with regji heraldorum et ministr&Uit existenti- 
the cuefence of Calais during a ten weeks bus apud Smithfield in ultimo hastiludio 
siege; and at a subsequent period as de dono r^s, x/.*' I could give many 
crossing the channel, and capturing a other proon. 



' So I interpret " umb veyal (veilchen) noch umb rosen. 



It 



ENGLISH POEtBY. 169 

courts, and foreign tournaments. They not only committed 
to writing the process of the lists, but it was also their business, 
at magnificent feasts, to describe the number and parade of 
the dishes, the quality of the guests, the brilliant dresses of the 
ladies, the courtesy of the knights, the revels, disguisings, ban- 
quets, and every other occurrence most observable in the course 
of the solemnity. Spenser alludes expressly to these heraldic 
details, where he mentions the splendor of Florimel's wedding. 

To tell the glory of tlie feast that day, 

The goodly servyse, the devisefull sights. 

The bridegrome's state, the bride's most rich array, 

The pride of ladies, and the worth of knights. 

The royall banquettes, and the rare delights. 

Were work fit for an herald, not for me**. 

I suspect that Chaucer, not perhaps without ridicule, glances 
at some of these descriptions, with which his age abounded; 
and which he probably regarded with less reverence, and read 
with less edification, than did the generality of his cotemporary 
readers. 

Why shulde I tellen of the rialte 

Of that wedding? or which course goth befom? 

Who blowith in a trumpe, or in a horn*? 

Again, in describing Cambuscan's feast 

Of which shall I tell all the array, 

Then would it occupie a sommer's day : 

And Ae it nedeth not to devise. 

At everie course the order of servise: 

I will not tellen as now of her strange sewes, 

Ne of her swans, ne of her heronsewes ^ 

And at the feast of Theseus, in the Knight's Tale". 

The minstralcie, the service at the feste, 
The grete geftes also to the most and leste, 

' E. Q. ▼. iii. 3. * Squire's T. v. 83. 

• Mul of Ii«we*8 T. V. 704. " V. 2199. p. 17. Urr. 



116 THE HISTORY OF 

The riche array of Theseus palleis, ' 

Ne who sat first or last upon the deis, 

What ladies feyrist ben, or best daunsing, 

Or which of them can best dauhcin or sing, 

Ne who most fdingly spekith of love, 

Ne what haukes sittin oa perchis above^ 

Ne what houndes liggen on the floure adoun, 

Of all this now I make no mentioun. 

In the Floure and the Leap, the same poet has described, 
in eleven long stanzas, the procession to a splendid tournament, 
with all the prolixity and exactness of a herald ^i The same 
affectation, derived fi'oni the same sources, occurs often in 
Ariosto. 

It were easy to illustrate this doctrine by various examples. 
The famous French romance of Saintre was evidently the 
performance of a herald. John De Saintre, the knight of the 
piece, was a real person, and, according to Froissart, was taken 
prisoner at the battle of Poitiers, in the year 1356*. But the 
compiler confounds chronology, and ascribes to his hero many 
pieces of true history belonging to others. This was a com- 
mon practice in these books. Some authors have supposed 
that this romance appeared before the year 1380^. But there 
are reasons to prove, that it was written by Antony de la Sale, 
a Burgundian, author of a book of Ceremonies, fi-om his name 
very quaintly entitled La Sallade, and frequently cited by our 
learned antiquary Selden*. This Antony came into England 
to see the solenmity of the queen's coronation in the year 
14f4'5*. I have not seen any French romance which Jias pre- 
served the practices of chivalry more copiously than this of 
Saintre. It must have been an absolute master-piece for the 
rules of tilting, martial customs, and public ceremonies pre- 
vailing in its author's age. In the library of the Office of Arms, 
there remains k very accurate descrij^tion of a feast of Saint 

^ From V. 204. to v. 287. p. 56» Menestrier, Orig. Ann. p. 23.' 

' Froissart, Hist. i. p. 178. * Tit. Hon. p. 413, &c. 

y Bysshc, Not. in Upton. MUit. Offic. * AnsU Ord. Gart. H. 32K 



ENGLISH POETRT. ITJ 

George, celebrated at Windsor in 1471 **. It tLppearsto have 

been written by the herald Blue-mantle Pttursuivant. Me^ 

nestrier says, that Guillaume Rucher, herald of Henault, hasi 

left a large treatise, describing the tournaments annually cele^ 

brated at Lisle in Flanders*^. In the reign erf Edward die 

Fourth, John Smarte, a Nonnan, garter king at arms, described 

in French the tournament held dt Bruges, for nine days, in 

honour of the marriage of the duke of Burgundy with Margaret 

the king^s daughter*. There is a French poem, entitled Les 

noms et les armes des seigneurs^ 8^c. a Fdssiege de Karleverch en 

Escoce, 1S005. This was undoubtedly written by a herald; 

Hie author thus describes the banner of Jdm duke of Bre- 

taigne. 

Baniere avoit cointee et paree 
De or et de asur eschequeree 
Au rouge ourle o jaunes lupars 
Determinee estoit la quarte pars ^4 

^ MSS. OiHc. Arm. M. 15. fol. 12, p. 329. This was an annual celebra- 

13. tion au Chastdde rEufencbtmti du tnef<- 

'^ " Guillaume Rucher, heraut d'ar* veiUetutperiL The cattle, as appears by 

mes du titre de Heynaut, a fait un gros the monuments which accompany these 

fjolume des rois de TEpinette a Lble en statutes, was built at the fiat tf the ob^ 

Flanders; c*est une ceremonie, ou un scure grot qftheEVCMAJHTMEWta of Virf^ 

feste, dont il a decrit les joustes, tour- The statutes are as extraordinary as If 

iiois, noms, armoiries, livrees, et equU they had been drawn up by Don ^ixot^ 

paces de divers seigneurs, qui se ren- himself, or his assessors the curate and 

di&nt de dirers encboits, avec le cata^ the baiber. FVom the seventh chaplct' 

lories de rois de cette feste.*' Menestr. we learn, that the knights' who came (o 

rOrig. des Armoir. p. 64. this yearly festival at the chatel d^ Veuf", 

* See many other instances in MSS. were obliged to deliver in wrttiuff to tbe 
Harl. 69. fol. entit. The Books or clerks of the chapel of the castle their 
CERTAINS Triumphcs. See slso Appen- yearly adventures. Such of thesie hiit- 
six to the new edition of Leland*s Col- tories as were thought worthy to be ro- 
lECTAwsA. corded, the clerks are ordered to tran- 

* MSS. Cott. Brit. Mus. scribe in a book, which was called Le 
^ The bishop of Glocester has most Iwre des avenements awe chevaUerSf &c 

obligingly condescended to point out to Et demerra le dit livre tot^ours en la dicte 
me another source, to which many of chapelle. This sacred re|^ter certainly 
the romances of the fourteenth century furnished from time to time ample ma- 
owed their existence. Montfaucon, in terials to the romance-writers. An^ 
his MoNUMENs DB LA MoNARCuiB thls drcumstauce gives a new explana- 
FRAN901SS, has printed the StattUs de tion to a reference which we so fre* 
tOrdre du StmU Esprit au droit desir ou quentW find in romances : I mean, that 
du Koeud etabU par Louis d^Ai\jou roi appeal which they so constantly make 
de Jerusalem et SicSe en 1352* 3-4. torn. ii. to some authentic record. 



112 THB HISTORY OF 

The pmnpous circumstances of which these heraldic narra- 
tives consisted) and the minute prolixity with which they were 
displayed, seem to have infected the professed historians of this 
age. Of this there are various instances in Froissart, who had 
no other design than to compile a chronicle of real facts. I 
will give one example out of many. At a treaty of marriage 
between our Richard the Second and Isabel daughter of Charles 
the Fifth king of France, the two monarchs, attended with a 
ndble retinue, met and formed several encampments in a spar 
ci6us plain, near the castle of Guynes. Froissart expends 
many pages in relating at large the costly^^uniture of the p&- 
vQions, the riches of the side-boards, the profusion and variety 
of sumptuous liquors, spices, and dishes, with their order of 
service, the number of the attendants, with their address and 
exact discharge of duty in their respective offices, the presents 
of gold and precious stones made on both sides, and a thousand 
other particulars of equal importance, relating to the parade of 
this royal interview^. On this account, Caxton, in his exhorta- 
tion to the knights of his age, ranks Froissartf s history, as a book 
of chivalry, with the romances of Lancelot and Percival; and 
recommends it to their attention, as a manual equally calculated 
to inculcate the knightly virtues of courage and courtesy ^ 
This indeed was in an age when not only the courts of princes, 
but the castles of barons, vied with one another in the lustre of 
their shews; when tournaments, coronations, royal interviews, 

Froissart was an eye-witness of many of the ceremonies which 
he describes. His passion seems to have been that of seeing 
magnificent spectacles, and of hearing reports concerning them K 
Although a canon of two churches, he passed his life in travel- 
ling from court to court, and from castle to castle^. He thus, 

' See Froissart*8 Crontclx, trans* * His father was a painter of annories. 

lated by Lord Bemers. Finson, 1523. This might give him an early turn for 

▼oL u. f. 242. shews. See M. de la Cume de S. Pa- 

^ Boke of the Ordre of Chevalrye or laye, Mem. Lit. torn. x. p. 664. edit. 

JTmghthood : translated out rfthe Frenshe 4to. 

and imprinted by WyUiam Caxton* S. D. ^ He was originally a clerk of the 

Perhaps 1484. 4to. chamber to Phllippa, queen of Edward 



ENGLISH POSTRT. 173 

either from his own observation, or the credible infonnationa 
of others, easily procured suitable materials for a history, which 
professed only to deal in sensible objects, and those of the most 
splendid and conspicuous kind. He was familiarly known to 
two kings of England, and one of Scotland K But the court 
which he most admired was that of Gaston earl of Foix, at 
Orlidx in Beam ; for, as he himself acquaints us, it was not 
only the most brilliant in Europe, but the grand center for 
tidings of martial adventures™. It was crouded with knights of 
England and Arragon. In the mean time it must not be for- 
got that Froissart, who from his childhood was strongly attached 
to carousals, the music of minstrells, and the sports of hawking 
and hunting % cultivated the poetry of the troubadours, and 
was a writer of romances**. This turn, it must be confessed, 
might have some share in communicating that romantic cast 
to his history which I have mentioned. During his abode at 
the court of the earl of Foix, where he was entertained for 
twelve weeks, he presented to the earl his collection of the 
poems of the duke of Luxemburgh, consisting of sonnets, ba- 
lades, and virelays. Among these was included a romance, 
composed by himself, called Meliader, or The Knight of 
THE Sun op Gold. Gaston's chief amusement was to hear 
Froissart read this romance ^ every evening after supper**. At 

the Third. He was afterwards canon well as suko at feasts. So Wace in the 

and treasurer of Chimay in Henault, Roman du Rov, in the British Museum, 

imd of Lisle in Flanders ; and chaplain above mention^. 

to Guy earl of Castellon. Labor. Introd. -n •* i» i * i _* 

a r Hkt. de Charles vL p. 69. Compare ^;^ *J ZlwJT "^ ^^/T^ 

also Froissart's Chron. ii. f. 29. 305. ^' ^^ ^''^ "*^ "^ ^^^' 

319. And Bullart, Academ. des Arts '^ Froissart brought with him for a 

et des Sdenc. i. p. 125. 126. present to Gaston Earl of Foix four 

1 Cron. ii. f. 158. 161. greyhounds, which were called by the 

*" Cron. ii. f. 30. This was in 1381. romantic names of Tristram, Hector, 

' See Mem. Lit. ut supr. p. 665. Brut, and Roland. Gaston was so fond 

** Speaking of the death of king of hunting, that he kept upwards of six 

Richard, Froissart quotes a prediction hundred dogs in his castle. M. de la 

from the old French prose romance of Cume, ut supr. p. 676. 678. He wrote 

Bkut, which he says was fulfilled in a treatise on hunting, printed 1520. See 

that catastrophe. Uv. iv. c. 119. Frois- Verdier, Art. Gaston Comte de Foix, 

tart wiU be mentioned again as a poet. In illustration of the former part of this 

. ' I take this opportunity of remarking, note, Crescimbeni says, " Che in molte 

that romantic tides or histories appear at nobilis»me fiuniglie Italiane, ha 400 a 

a Tery early period to have been read as piu anni, paasarono* i nomi de* Lancil- 



174- ^H|: HISTOKY OF 

his introduction to Richer^the Second, hepres^ited that bril- 
liant monarch with a book beautifully illu^unated| engrossed 
with his own hand, bound in crimson velvet, and embellished 
with silver bosses, clasps, and golden roses, comprehending all 
the matters of Amours and Moralities, which in the course 
erf twenty-four years he had composed ?^. This was in the year 
J 396. When he left England the same year*, the king sent 
him a massy goblet of silver, filled with one hundred ncdbles^ 
As we are approaching to Chaucer, let us here stand still, 
and take a retrospect of the general manners. The tourna- 
ments and carousals of our antient princes, by forming splendid 
assemblies of both sexes, while they inculcated the most liberal 
sentiments of honour and heroism, imdoubtedly contributed to 
introduce ideas of courtesy, and to encourage decorum. Yet 
the national manners still retained a great degree of ferocity, 

lotti, de* TVtstom, de Gahxmi, di Galeotdf plfifiedinthefollowingboc^m. **Item9 

fl^le Isoite [Isoulde], delle Genevre, e a great book of parchmente written and 

d*altri cavalieri, a dame in esse Tavola lymned with gold of graver's work De 

BiToirnA operant!,*' &c. Istor. Volg. confessiane AmantU, with xviii ot]^ 

Poos. vol. i. lib. V. p. 327. Venez, 4to. bookes, Le premier volume de Lancelot, 

' I should think that this was his ro- Froissart, Le grant voiage de J^rusa- 

mance of Msliadxr. Froissart says, lem, Enguerain de MonstreUot,'* &c. 

that the king at receiving it, asked him MSS. Harl. 1419. f. 382. Froissart 

what the book treated of. He answered was here properly classed. 
d* Amour. The king, adds our historian^ ' Froissart says, that he accompanied 

teemed much pleased at this ; and ex- the king to various palaces, <' A Elten, a 

anuned the book in numy places, for he Ledos, a Kiidcestove, a Cenes, a Cer- 

was fond of reading as well as speaking tes^ et a Windsor." That is, Eltham, 

French. He then ordered Richard Leeds, Kingston, Chertsey, &c Cron. 

prendon, the chevalier in waiting, to liv. iv. c 119. p. 348. The French are 

carry it into his privy chamber, dty/U U not much improved at this day in speU- 

me Jit bonne chere. He gave copies of ing English places and names, 
the ^veral parts of his chronicle, as they [Perhaps by Cenes, Froissart means 

were finished, to his different patrons. Sbemx, the royal palace at Richmond. 

Le Laboureur says, that Froissart sent — 'Adpitioks.] 

fifty-six quires of his Roman au Cro- ^ Cron. f. 251. 252» 255. 319. 348. 

VIQUES to GuiUaume de Bailly an illu- Bayle, who has an article on Froissart, 

minator; which, when illuminated, were had no idea of searching for anecdotes 

intended as a present to the king of En- of Froissart's life in his Chronicle. 

gland. Hist. ch. vi. En la vie de Louis Instead of which, he swells his notes on 

due d'Anjou. p. 67. seq. See also Cron. this article with the contradictory ac- 

L iv. c i.-^iii. 26. There are two or counts of Moreri, Vossius, and oUiers : 

three fine illuminated copies of Froissart whose disputes might have been all 

now remaining among the royal manu- easily settled by recurring to Froissart 

scripts in the British Museum. Among himself, who has interspersed in his 

the stores of Henry the Eighth at his history many curious particulars relating 

manor oCBedington in Surry, I find the to his own Hfe and works. 
£ashiona|>le reading of the times exem- 



ENGLISH POETRY. 175 

and the ceremonies of the most refined comts in Europe had 
often a mixture of barbarism, which rendered tliem ridiculous. 
This absurdity will always appear at periods when men are so 
far civilised as to have lost their native simplicity, and yet have 
not attained just ideas of politeness and propriety. Their luxury 
was inelegant, their pleasures indelicate, their pomp cumber- 
some and unwieldy. In the mean time it may seem surprising, 
^t the many sdiools of philosophy which flourished in the 
middle ages, should not have corrected and polished the times. 
But as their rdi^on was corrupted by superstition, so their phi- 
losophy deg^ierated into sc^histry. Nor is it science alone^ 
even if founded on truth, that will polish nations. For this pur- 
pose, the powers of imagination must be awakened and exerted, 
to teadi elegant feelings, and to heighten our natural sensibili- 
ties. It is not the head only that must be informed, but the 
heart must also be moved. Many classic authors were known 
in the thirteenth century, but the scholars of that period wanted 
taste to read and admire them. The pathetic or sublime strokes 
of Virgil would be but little relished by theologists and meta- 
physicians. 



176 THE HISTORY OF 



SECTION XII. 



1 HE most illustrious ornament of the rdgn ct Edward &e 
Third, and of his successor Richard the Second, was Je£Brqr 
Chaucer ; a poet with whom the history of our poetry is by 
many supposed to have commenced ; and who has been pro- 
nounced, by a critic of unquestionable taste and discommenty 
to be the first English versifier who wrote poetically*. He 
was bom in the year 1328, and educated at Oxford, where he 
made a rapid progress in the scholastic sciences as they were 
then taught : but the liveliness of his parts, and the native 
gaiety of his disposition, soon recommended him to the patro- 
nage of a magnificent monarch, and rendered him a very po- 
pular and acceptable character in the brilliant court which I 
have above described. In the mean time, he added to his 
accomplishments by firequent tours into France and Italy, 
which he sometimes visited under the advantages of a public 
character. Hitherto our poets had been persons of a private 
and circumscribed education, and the art of versifying, like 
evesf other kind of composition, had been omfined to recluse 
scholars. But Chaucer was a man of the world : and fi*om 
this circumstance we are to account, in great measure, for the 
many new embellishments which he conferred on our language 
and our poetry. The descriptions of splendid processions and 
gallant carousals, with which his works abound, are a proof 
diat he was conversant with the practices and diversions of 
polite life. Familiarity with a variety of things and objects, 
opportunities of acquiring the &shionabIe and courtly modes 
of speech, connections with the great at home, and a personal 
acquaintance with the vernacular poets of foreign countries, 

• Johnson's Diction. Pref. p. ). 



EKGLISH PaETBY. l^T 

Opened his mind, and fiirnished him with new lights^ In 
Italy he was introduced to Petrarch, at the wedding of Vio- 
lante, daughter of Oaleazzo duke of Milan, with the duke of 
Clarence : and it is not improbable that Boccacio was of the 
party ^. Although Chaucer had undoubtedly studied the 
worics of these celebrated writers, and particularly of Dante, 
before tfiis fortunate interview ; yet it seems likely, that these 
excursions gave him a ni^w relish for their compositions, and 
enlarged his knowledge of the Italian fiibles. His travels like- 
wise enabled him to cultivate the Italian and Provendal 
languages with the greatest success; and induced him to 
polish the asperity, and enrich the sterility of his native ver- 
sification, with softer cadences, and a more copious and 
variegated phraseology. In this attempt, whidi was autho- 
rised by the recent and popular examples of Petrarch in Italy 
and Alain Chartier in France^, he was countenanced and 
assisted by his iriend John Oower, the early guide and en^ 
courager of his studies^. The revival of learning in most 
countries appears to have first owed its rise to translation. ' 
At rude periods the modes of origioal thinking are unknown, 
and the arts of original composition have not yet been studied. 
The writers therefore of such periods are diiefly and very use- 

^ The earl of Salisbury, beheaded by ^ Leland Script. Brit. 421. 
Henry the Fotirth, could not but pa- ^ Gower, Confiess. Amant. 1. ▼. foL 
tronise Chaucer. I do not mean for 190. b. Barthel. 1554. 

S'*'"^^ *l 'TT J^ZI .n^ I" ^un-We wise as he wefl couUi, 
P... ; wl«Me worJ»,Nrth m prose and Qf ditw «m1 of songes glade 

r:idX^ S^t'iL'n « • -^ which he for .T.L «-de. «c. 
call him, '< Gracieux chevalier, aimant [Frauds Tlivnnein his letter to %>eght 

dicdez, et lui-meme gracieux dicteiur.** (ap. Todd's Illustrations of Gower and 

SeeM.Boivin, Meni.Lit.tom.ii. p.767. Chaucer) has justly observed, that 

seq. 4to.- I have seen none of this earl's these linte are uttered by Venus ; and . 

Duties. Othemdse he would have been consequently, that the iniference drawn 

hen considered in form, as an English from them is wh<^y unfounded. Chau- 

poet cer had published iXl his poems, except 

^ Froissart was also present. Vn dx the Canteiiniry Tales, previous to the . 

PxTKARQUE. ill. 772. Am8t.-1766. 4to. I appearance of the Confesaio Amantu. 

believePaulus Jovius is the firstwho men- — i^Eorr. ] 
tions this anecdote. Vit.Galea8.ii. p. 152. 

VOL, n. N 



178 THE HISTORY OF 

fully employed in importing the ideas of other bnguages into 
their own* They do not venture to think for themselves^ nor 
aim at the merit of inventors^ but they are laying the foundar 
tions of literature : and while they are naturalising the know- 
ledge of more learned ages and countries by translation, tihey 
are imperceptibly improving the national language. This has 
been remarkably the case^ not only in England, but in France 
and Italy. In the year 1S87, John Trevisa canon of West- 
bury in Gloucestershire, and a great traveller, not only 
finished a translation of the Old and New Testaments, at ike 
command of his munificent patron Thomas lord Berkley ^ but 
also translated Higden's PoiTfOHRONicoN, and other Latin 
pieces s. But these translations would have been alone insuf* 
ficient to have produced or sustained any considerable revolu- 
tion in our language : the great work was reserved for Gower 
and Chaucer. Wickli£fe had also translated the Bible ^ : and 
in other respects his attempts to bring about a information in 
rdigum at this time proved beneficial to English literature. 
The orthodox divines of this period generally wrote in Latin ; 
but WickMe, that his arguments might be familiarised to 
common readers and the bulk of the people, was obliged to 
ccMnpose in Ik)glisli his* numerous theol<^cal treatises again^ 
the papal corruptions. Edward the Third, while he perhaps 
intended only to banish a badge of conquest, greatly contri- 
buted to establish the national dialect, by abolishing tfie use of 
the Norman tongue in the public acts and judicial proceedings, 

' See H. Wharton, Append. Cay. p. logui inter Clericum et Patroiium. See 

49. more of bis translations in MSS. HarU 

■ Such as Bartholomew Olanville De 1900. I do not find his English Biblk 

Propnetatibus Rerum, lib. xiz. Printed in any of our libraries, nor do I believe 

by Wynkyn de Worde, 1494. fol. And that any copy of it now remains. Cax- 

Vegetius De Arte Miiitari* MSB. Digb. ton mentions it in the pre&ce to his 

2S3. Bibl. Bodl. In the same manu- edition of the English PpiYcaBONicoy, 

script is wSgidiusRomanus 2)0 12«^[mime {See Lewis's Wicclzffb, p. 66. 329. 

Prhtdpunit a translation probably by And Lewis's Hisroar of ^e Tbaitsla- 

Trevisa. He also translated some pieces tions of the Bibue, p. 66.— Additions. ] 
of Biehard Fitzratph, archbishop qf Ar- ^ It is obsenrable, that he made his 

magh. ' See supr. p. 127. He wrote a translation from the viilgate Latin ver- 

tract, pirefized to his version of the Fo* sion of Jerom. It was finished 1983. 

LTCHBoMicoN, on the utility of traiuda^ See MS. Cod. BibU Ckdl. Emaxu Cant, 

tions : J>e UtUitate TranihHonum, -Z^to- 102. 



BNGtISH POETRY^ 179 

US we hs^ b^ore observed, and by substituting the natural 
laf^qage o( the couatry. But C^ucer manifestiiy first tau^t 
]4s qanntrymen to write Eng^h; and formed a style by natu- 
ralising words jGrom the Provencial*, at that time the most 
polished dialect of any in Europe, and the best adapted to the 
purposes of poetical expression. 

It is certain that Chaucer abounds in classical allusions: 
but his poetry is not formed on the antient models. He ap- 
pears to have been an universal reader, and his learning is 
ac»netimes mistaken for genius : but his chief sources were the 
French and Italian poets. From these originals two of his 
capital poems, the Knight^s Tale^, and the Romaunt of 
THE Rose, are imitations or translations. The first of these 
is taken fi*om Boccacio. 

Boccado was the disciple of Petrarch : and although prin- 
cipally known and deservedly celebrated as a writer or inven- 
tor of tales, he was by his cotemporaries usually placed in the 
third rank after Dante and Petrarch. But Boccacio having 
seen the Platonic sonnets of his master Petrarch, in a fit of 
4e$pair committed all his poetry to the flames S except a single 
poem, of which his own good taste had long taught him to en- 
tertain a more favourable opinion. This piece, thus happily 
rescued from destruction, is at present so scarce and so little 
faiown, even in Italy, as to have left its author but a slender 
{MTC^cMrtion of that eminent degree of poetical reputation, which 
he might have justly claimed from so extraordinary a perform- 
ance. It is an heroic poem, in twdve books, entitled Le Te- 

• ["^^d. infra Sect. xvm. Note +, from passage, whicli I dp not wdl under-,- 

the Additions.] stand, v. 420. 

' Chaucer alludes to some boo^ from^ And al the lore o£ Pftlamon and Arcite 

whence tfa^s tfde was tsJ^en, more than (H Tb/fhiSf though th§ storkii known Higm 

opce, viz. V. 1 . << Whilom, as olde stories [The last words seem to imply that it had 

l^lin us." V. 1465. ** As olde bookes to not made itself very popular. Ttrwhitt.} 
us sain^ that ail this stone telleth more k Goijget, Kbl. Fr. Tom. tiL p. 328. 

jilotn." T. 2814. '* Of soulis fynd I But we must except, that besides the 

nought in this registre.** That is, this poem mentioned helow, Boccado's 

History, or narratiTe. See also t. 2297. Amazoniba, k Fo&xx d'Ercolx, are 

In the JLegende of good womeih whei^ both now extant : and were printed at 

Chaucer's wotka are ui«ntioned, is this Ferrgra in, or about, the year 1475. fol. 

N 2 



180 THEHISTOBYOP 

SEiDE, and written in the octave stanza, called by the Italians 
ottava rimuj which Boccado adopted from the old French 
chansons, and here first introduced among his countrymen'. 
It was printed at Ferrara, but with scnne deviations from the 
original, and even misrepres^tations of the story, in the year 
1475™. Afterwards, I think, in 1488. And for the third and 
last time at Venice^ in the year 1528°. But the corruptions 
have been suffered to remain through every editicm. 

Whether Boccacio was the inventor of the story of this 
poem is a curious enquiry. It is certain that Theseus was an 
early hero of romance^. He was taken from that grand re- 
pository of the Grecian heroes, the History of Troy, written 
by Guido de ColonnaP; In the royal library at Paris, there 
is a manuscript entitled. The Roman de Theseus et de Ga- 
DiFER**. Probably this is the printed French romance, under 
the title, <' Histoire du Chevalier Theseus de Coulogne, par 
sa prouesse empereur de Rome, et aussi de son fils Gadifer 
empereur du Greece, et de trois enfans du dit Gadifer, tra- 
duite de vieille rime Picarde en prose Francoise. Paris 15S4'." 
Gadifer, with whom Theseus is joined in this antient tale, 
written probably by a troubadour of Picardy, is a champion 
in the oldest French romances*. He is mentioned frequently 
in the French romance of Alexander ^ In the romance of 
Perceforrest, he is called king of Scotland, and said to be 
crowned by Alexander the Great". But whether or no this 
prose HiSTOJRE du Chevalier Theseus is the story of Th&^ 
sens in question, or whether this is the same Theseus, I cannot 

1 See Crescimben. Istor. Volgar.Poes. ** MSS. Bibl [Reg. Paris.] Tom. ii. 

▼ol. i. L. L p. eS, Ven. 1731. 4to. 974. E. 

^ Poema ddla Tbseiss del Boccacio ' Fol. torn. ii. Again, ibid. 4to. Bl. 

duosatoy e dichiarato du Andrea de Lett. See Lenglet, BiU. Rom. p. 191. 

Bassi in Ferrara, 1475. fol. ^ 4to. ' The chevaliers of the courts of 

^ In Lydgate*s Tkmplk of Glas, Charles the Fifth and Sixth adopted 

never printed, among the lovers painted names from the old romances, such as 

on the wall is Theseu3 killing the Mi- Lancelot, Gadifer, Carados, &c Mem. 

BOtaure. I suppose from Ovid. Bibt Anc. Cheval. i. p. 340. 

Bodl. MSS. Fairfax, 16. Or from ' See vol. i. p. 143. 

Chaucer, Lcgende Ariadne, • " See' Historic du Perceforrest roy de 

. ' See vol.i. p. 129. supr, and foregoing In Gr. Bretagne, et Gadiffer rov d*£s-. 

note. cosse, &c. 6 torn. F^ris, 1531. fol. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 181 

ascertmin. There is likewise in the same royal library a nuu- 
nuscript, called by Mont&ucon, Historia Thesei in lingua 
TULGARi, in ten books ^. Hie Abbe Goujet observes, that 
ifaere is in some libraries of France an old French translation 
«f Boccado's Theseid, from which Anna de Graville formed 
the French poem of Palamon and Arcite, at the command 
e( queen Qaude, wife of Francis the First, about the year 
1487'* Either the translation used by Anna de Graville, or 
her poem, is perhaps the second of the manuscripts mentioned 
by Mcmt&ucon. Boccado's Theseid has also been translated 
^to Italian prose, by Nicolas Granuci, and .printed at Lucca 
in 1570'. The title of Graniidci's prose Theseide is this, 
Theseide di Boccacio de oUcvoa Rima nuaoamente ridotta in 
prosa per Nicclao Granucci di Lucccu In Lticca appresso Vinr 
zenxza Busdraghi. mdlxx. In the Dedicazione to this work, 
which was printed more than two hundred years ago, and 
.within one hundred years after the Ferrara edition of the 
TnESEinE appeared, Granucci mentions Boccacio's work as a 
TRANfflLATiON from the barbarous Greek poan cited below. 
Dedicaz. foL 5. *^ Volendo far cosa, que non sto stata fatta 
da loro, pero mutato parere mi dicoK a ridurre in prosa questo 
.JUmamoramento, Opera di M. Giovanm Boccacio, quale egli 
transporto dal Greco in octava rima per compiacere alia sua 
Fiametta," &c. * Boccacio himself mentions the story of Pa^- 
lamon and Arcite. This may seem to imply that the story 
existed before his time: unless he artfully intended to recom- 
mend his own poem on the subject by such an allusion. It is 
where he introduces two lovers singing a portion of this tale, 
'f Dioneo e Fiametta gran pezza canterona insieme d'ARciTE 
e di Palamone ^." By Dioneo, Boccacio represents himself; 

^ BibL MSB. ut supt. p. 773. bans, Ardte et Folemon,** &c. Jane de 

* Ut fiupr. p. 329. « la Fontaine also tannslated into French 

y 4to. There is a French prose trans* verse this poem. She died 1536. Her 

lation with it. The Theskid has also translation was never printed. It is ap- 

been translated into French prose by D. plauded by Joannes Secundus, £leg. xv. 

C C. 1597. 12mo. Paris. " La The- * [Lib. Slonian. 1614. Brit. Mus.— . 

ssiDE de Jean Boccace, contenant let Additions.] 

chastes amours de deux clvevaliers The- ' Giorn. vii. Nov. lo. p. 34S. edit. 



182 THE HISTORY OF 

and by Fiametta, his mistress^ Maiy of Am^oh, a natural 
daughter of Robert king of Naples. 

I confess I am c^ opinion, that Boccacio^s Theseid is an 
original conq)06ition. But there is a Greco-barbarous poem 
extant on this subject, which, if it could be proved to be iEOite- 
cedent in poiilt of time to the Italian pbem, would d^nide 
Boccacio to a mere translator on thi» occasion. It is a matter 
that deserves to be examined at larger stnd to be traced with 
accuracy. 

This Greek poem is as little known and as scared as 806- 
cacio's Theseid. It is entitled^ Biia-io$ xai yufw n}^ Eiur^hiot^ 
It was printed in quarto at Vaiice in the year 1529. jStai»- 
pata in Vinegia j>er Giaoanantonio et frateUi da Selbhio a rb^ 
quisitione de M. Damiano de Santa Maria de Spiei m.d.xxix. 
del Mese de Decembrio*, It is not mcsitioned by Crusius 
or Fabricius ; but is often cited by Du Cange in bis GtreA 
glossary, under the title^ De Nupnis Thesei et Mmiixjb. 
The heads of the chapters are adorned withirude woodenctits 
of the story. I once suspected that Boccacio, having^^ceiv^ 
this poem from some of his learned friendsamong the Grecikh 
exiles, who being driven from Constantinc^e took rdiige 
in Italy about the fourteenth century, translated it into Italian. 
Under this supposition, I was indeed surprised to find thfe 
ideas of chivalry, and the ceremonies of a tournament nimutely 
described, in a poem which appeared to haveb^n written jEit 
Constantinople. But tliis difficulty was soon 'removs^, wheh 
I recollected that the Franks, Venetians, and Germanis had 
been in possession of that city for more than one hundf^ed 
years; and that' Baldwin earl of Flanders was elected emperor 
of Constantinople in the year ISM, and was succeeded by four 
Latin or Frankish emperors, down to the year 1261 *'. Add 

Tineg. 1548. 4to. diaucer himself al- ^ About which period it is pratnible 

ludes to this story, Bl. Kib. ▼. S69. Per- ^t the anonymous Greek poem, caHed 

haps on the same prindple. fte X^oves of Lybister and HhdcUthtnOt 

* A manuscript of it is in the Royal was written. This appears bylhe Get'-' 

Ifhrary at Paris, Cod. 2569. Du Cange man name 'Frederic, which often ocbura 

Ind. Auct. Gloss. Gr. Bait), ii. p. 65, in it, and is grecised, with many other 

col. 1. Germim words. Inanla^iuscliptofiftis 



XK6LISH FOETRT. 188 

lo. this, that the word, rt j yiftn^ov, a. TOURKAMfiNT, occurs in 
the Byzantme historians^. From the same communication 
likewise, I mean the Greek exiles, I fimcied JBoccacio might 
have procured the stories of several of his tales in the Deca- 
meron : as^ for instance, that of Cymon and Iphioenia, 
where the names are entirely Grecian, and the scene laid in 
Rhodes,. Cyprus, Crete, and other parts of Greece belonging 

)^m. if^ch Cnisius saw, were many their dispersion^ of whom more will be 
{Muntiiigs and illuminations ; wh«re> in said herei^er, I am not able to detetw 
the r^resentation of a battle, he observed mine. See Nessell.!. p.S42.S43. Meurs. 
no guns, but javelins, and' bows and ar- Gloss. Gr. Barb. V. B«Nri. And Lam- 
vOwB. He adds, <<et musics testudines." beos. v. p. 862. 264. 
It is written in the iambic measure men- "^ As also T«^h, ffastiltuUum* Fr. 
tioned below. It is a series of wandeiv Toumoi, And T^vf firu*, hastUudio con^ 
iog adventures with little art or inven- tendere* John Cantacuienus relates, 
^n. Lybister, the son of a Latin king, that when Anne of Savoy, daughter of 
and a Christian, sets forward acconw Amadeus, the fourth carl Hi the Alio- 
panied with an hundred attendants in broges, was married to the emperor An- 
flearch of Rhodamna, whom he had lost dronicus, junior, tibe Frankish and Sa- 
by the strati^|ems of a certain old wo- vcytard ndi>les, who accompanied the 
man skilled m magic. He meets CU- princess, held tilts and tournaments be- 
tophon son of a king of Armenia. They fore the court at Constantinople ; which, 
undergo various (Utngers in different he adds^ the Greeks learned- of the 
countries. Lybister relates his dream Franks. This was in the year 1326. 
concerning a partridge and an eagle ; HisuByiant. 1. i. cap. 42. . But Nloetas 
and howm>m that dream he fell in love sa3rs, that when the emperor Manuel 
with Rhodamna daughter of Chyses a made some stay at Antioch, the Greeks 
pagan king^ and communicated his pas- held a solemn tournament against the 
sion by sending an arrow, to which his Franks. This was about the year 1 160. 
hame was affixed, into a tower, or castle. Hist. Byzant. L iil. cap. 3. Cinnamus 
called Argyrocastre, &c See Crusii observes, that the same emperor Manuel 
Turco-Graeda, p. 974. But we find a altered the shape of the shields and 
certain species of etotic romances, some lances of the Greeks to those of the 
in verse and some in prose, existing in Franks. Hist. lib. iii. Nicephorus Gre» 
the Greek empire, the remains and the goras, who wrote about the year 1340, 
dregs of Heliodorus, Achilles Tadu^ affirms, that the Greeki learned this 
Xenophonthe £phesian,Charito, Eusta- practice from the Franks. Hist. Byzant. 
4faius or Eumatluus, and others, about L x. p. 339. edit. foL' Genev. 1615. The 
or rather before the year 1200. Such wcn^ KmCrnXXm^iu, Knighty, Ch^vaUerSf 
are the Loves of llhodarUe and Dodcles occurs often in the Byzantine historians, 
of Theodorus Frodromus, who wrote even as early as Anna Comnena, who 
about the year 1130. This piece was wrote about 1140. Alexiad. lib. xiii. 
iniatated by Nicetas Eugenianus in the p. 411. And we have in J. Cantacu- 
Lovet qf ChariceU and DrosiUa^ Se^ ^nus^ " m* KmCmXmgm* wm^tsx* n^ni'.'* 
Labb. BibL Nov. Manuscript, p. 220, He conferred the honour of Knighthood. 
Whether or no The Lcves of'Caiiimachiu This indeed is said of the Franks. Hist. 
and Chrysorrhoef The Erotic history of ut supr. 1. iii. cap. 25. And in the 
Memperkut' The htstory of the Loves of Greek poem now under consideration, 
FUmusandNabst^lonii with some others, one of die titles is, " Hug %w§tn»\9 • en- 
all by anonymous authors, and in Ghreco^ #ivr rvf Iv >&nCmut KaCmXm^tei." How 
baibarous' iambics, were written at Con- Theseus dubbed the ttoo Theians Knights, 
stantinople ; or whether they were the lib. vii. Signatur. v n i $, sol, vers, 
coropoi^^ns of the learned Greeks after 



184 THE HISTORY OF 

to the imperial territory^. But, to say no more of this, I hav^ 
at present no sort of doubt of what I before asserted, that Boc- 
cacio is the writer and invaitor of this piece. Oiur Greek 
poem is in fiurt a literal translation from the Italian Theseid. 
The writer' has translated the prefatory episde addressed by 
Boccacio to the Fiametta. It consists of twelve books, and is 
written in Boccacio's octave stanza, the two last lines of every 
stanza rhyming together. The verses are of the iambic kind, 
and something like the Versus Politici, which were conmum 
among the Greek scholars a litde before and long after Con<- 
stantinople was taken by the Turks, in the year 1458. It will 
readily be allowed, that the circumstance of the stanzas and 
rhymes is very singular m a poem composed in tbe Greek 
language, and is alone suJfficient to prove this piece to be a 
translation from Boccacio. I must not forget to observe, that 
the Gredn is extremely barbarous, and of the lowest period of 
that language. 

It was a common practice of the learned and indigent 
Greeks, who frequented Italy and the neighbouring states 
about the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to translate the 
popular pieces of Italian poetry, and the romances or tales 
most in vogue, into these Greco-barbarous iambics^. Pastor 
FiDO was thus translated. The romance of Alexander th£ 
Great was also translated in the same manner by Demetrius 
Zenus, who flourished in 1530, under the title of AXs^avSg^vg 6 
MoxffScov, and printed at Venice in the year 1529^ In the 
very year, and at the same place, when and where our Greek 
poem on Theseus, or Palamon and Arcite, was printed; 
Apollonius of Tyre, another famous romance of the middle 
ages, was translated in the same manner, and entitled Jiijyi^iir 
(ogMajTotryi AiroXkcoviou rou €v Tvgco^ ^fM&aK The story caking 

^ Giorn. ▼. Nov. I. * That is, RytbmicaUy, PoeticaUy, 

* That is ver«ia/>o^t^' above mention- Gr. Barb, 

ed, a sort of loose iambic See Langii ^ Du Cange mentions, << MiT«7X«*r- 

Prilolo&ia GrjkqO'BAKbab.a, Tzetze8*8 r$0/im mir$ Amrniunf ut Prnfuunn^ itnyimi 

Chiliads are written in diis versification^ .wkXnwmfiaf A«>«XA.«i»i» r» Tw^*' Ind. 

See Du Cange, Gl. Gr. ii. col. 1196. Auct Gloss. Gr. Barb. ii. p. 86. col. b. 

' Cms. utsupr. p. 373. 399. Seesupr. Compare Fabricius, BibL Gr. vi. 821. 

voL i. p. 133. I believe it was first printed at Venice, 



ENGLISH POETRY. 186 

Arthur they also reduced mto the same language. Th« iteamed 
Martinus Orusius^ wh& mtroduced the Greco-barbarous ian^ 
guage and literature into the German oniversides, relates, that 
his fidends who studied at Padua sent him in the year 1564» 
together with Homer's Iliad, Jihtxeu Regis Arthuri, Alex*- 
ANDER above mentioned, and other fictitious histories or story^ 
books of a similar cast''. The French history or romance of 
Be&trand du Guescelin, printed at Abbeville in 1487*, and 
that of Belisaire, or Belisarius, they rendered in the same 

1563. VIZ. « Historia ApoUonii Tyanan, speare, is taken from this story of Apoi- 

[Tyrensis] Ven. 156S. Liber Eroticus, lonius as told by Gower, who speaks diB 

Gr. barb, lingua exaratus ad modum Prologue. It existed in Latin befoife 

rythmonim nostrorum, rarissimus au- the year 9CX). See Barth. Adrersar. Iviii. 

dity**&c. VogtCataLlibr. rarior.p.345. cap. i. Chaucer calls him "of Tyre 

edit. 1753. 1 think it was reprinted at Apolloneus.** FaoL. Man, JL Tal^ v^ 

Venice, 1696. apwd NicoL Glycem. 8vo. 81. p. 50. Urr. edit. And quotes froiti 

In the works of Vehenis, there is Ntn^ this romance, 

!!^* ^S!^^J^fZ. ?£ ^^ How that the cunid king Antiochu. 
91191^, &c He says it was nrst written xix^c*,^ v.\^ ^...^i,«^> ^e u^ -j- i i 

by ^ Graek author. Veberi Op. ^^^Zt^^jfJ^,^!^^'^ 

pT 697. edit. 1682. &L The Latin is in ^* Af u^°T^^ ' *^ S '^*' ^ 

BibLBodL MS&Laud, 39.-Bodl. F.7. ^^° ''* ^"^ "^"^ "P°" *»" pa^^ment, 

7. And F. 1 1.4^. In the preface, Velse- In the royal library there Is ^ Hist«^ 

rus, who £ed 1614, says, that he beHeved d*Apollih roy de Thir." Brit. Mna, 

the original in Greek still remains at MSS. Reg. 20 C. iL 2. With regax^d 

Constandnofde, in the library of Manuel to the French editions of this romance^ 

JSugeniciis. Montfaucon mentions a jio- the oldest I have seen is, « Plaisante ek 

ble copy of this romance, written in the agreable Histoire d* Apollonius prince 

thirteenth century, in the royal library de Thyr en Afinque et roy d* Antiocfa^ 

at Paris. BibL MSS. p. 753. Compart traduite par Gilles Corozet, Paris, 153a 

MSS. Langb. BibL BodL vi. p. 15. 8vo.** And there is an old black-letter 

Getta ApoUSnm &c. There is a tnanu. edition, printed in quarto at Genera, 

script in- Saxon of the romance of Apoi>- entitled, " La Chronique d* Appollin roj 

uovvas OF Trax. Wanley's Catal. apud de Thir." At length the story appeared 

Hickes, ii. 146. See Martin. Crusii in a modem dress by M. le Brun, under 

Turco-Graec p. 209. edit. 1594. Gower the title of *< Avantures d* Apollomn$ 

recites many stories of this romance in de Thyr,** printed in twelres at Paris 

his CovFESsio Amamtis. He calls ApoU and Iletercbm, in 1710 And again at 

lonius " a yoi^e, a freshe, a lustie Paris th& following year* 

knight.*' See Lib. riii. fol. 175. b.— > [In the edition of the Gesta Bo- 

185. a. But he refers to Godfrey of Vi- hanorum, printed at Rouen in 1521, 

terbo*s Pantheon, or universal Chroni* and containing one hundred and eighty* 

cle, called also Memorite Saculorum, one chapters, the history of Apollonius 

partly in prose, partiy verse, from the of Tyre occurs, ch. 153. This is tlie first 

Creation of the world, tothe year 1 186* of the additional chapters—AnniTiONs.] 

The author died in 1 190i ^ So I translate << alios id genus ini- 

* ^ M • J • noreslibellos.** Cms. ibid, p, 489. Cru- 

-A Cromkc in d«es gone ,j„, ^^ ^^ ;„ j P"^ •'^y»- 

TT.C which 18 cleped Panteone, &c. , ^^ ^^ ^„j ^ £^ Triumphe dek 

fol. 175. a. The play called Pericles neuf Preux, &c. fol. That is, The 
PaiNcx or Xtjix« attributed to Shake- Kime Wortihxs. 



186 Tui: HISTORY or 

language and metre, with the titles Jiijyiio'i; s^ai^rro^ BtXkah' 
Igon rou PwfMUOu'^f and '/oro^ixi] f^yi)0'K mfi BfAAio-ojiou, &C.'' 
Boccacio himself in the Decameron^, mentions the story of 
Troilus and Cressida in Greek verse : which I suppose had 
been translated by some of the fiigitive Greeks with whom he 
was connected, from a romance on that subject; many antient 
cc^ies of which now remain in the libraries of France p. The 
story of Florius and Platzflora, a romance which Liido- 
vicus Vives with great gravity condemns under the name of 
Marian and Blanca^Flor, as one of the pernicious and unclas- 
sical popular histories currait in Flanders about the year 
1523% of which there are old editions in French, Spanish'', 

^ See Du Cange, GL Gr. Baifo. H. Srff«»ff ri^iMf> «n pM$U9 mMynttemimt 

Ind. Auctor. p. 36. col. b. This his- y^fm, »M4v, ^ X«Xti» mt tiitrmnp 5 

to^ contains Beltrand's, or Bertrand's jirvom* yX^irrvf rm Tfmtmmwt f n ^ |^ «i|f 

amours with X(«r«r(«, CkrystUtOf the yfmf$f$m^tmn9 f^ «4* «2m»vmi«* ^Awrra* r«i 

king of Andoch's daughter. Amrifttf,** It is a mixture of modem 

* See Lambecc. BibL Ccesar. lib. ▼. and antient Greek wordsy Latin and 

p. 264. It is remarkable, that the story Italian. It was reprinted at Venice by 

(if Vote oMum BeUsario is not in Pro- Petrus Burana, 1546. 

copius, but in this romance. Probably ' See Lenglet's BibL Rom. p. 85S. 

Vandyck got this story from a modem- '' Le Roman de Troylus.** And Mon^ 

ised edition of it, called Bbllxsaxbx ou faucon» BibL MSSi p. 792. 793, &C.&6. 

le Conquerantt Paris. 1643. 8vo. Which, There is, <* L* Amore di Troleo ct Gii* 

however, is said in the title-page to be seida que si tratta in buone parte U 

taken from Procoptus. It was written Guerra di Trcga, d'Angelo liOonioiH 

by the sieur de Grenailles. Yen. 1553.*' in octave riiyme.^8YO. Move 

** They sometimes applied their Greek will be said of this hereaikier. 

iambics to the works of the antient . ^ Lud.yiv.de Christiana Femina. lib. 

Greek poets. Demetrius Zenus, above L cap. cui tit. Qui rum Ugendi Seripiorety 

mentioned, translated Home's Bmr^mx^ Ac. He lived at Bruges. He mentions 

^vft»x** • <^^ Nicolaus Lucanus, llie other romances common in Flanden^ 

lUad. The first was printed at Venice, Lbonxla Aifn Caitabiob, Ci;eia8 Aim 

and afterwards reprinted by Crusius, Florxla, and Py&ahos akd T&isbk. 

Turco-Gnec. p* 373. The latter was ' Fi.oiues y Blavcaflor. En McalOf 

also printed at Venice, 1526. apud 1512* 4to.— Histoire Amoreuse de Fi.o» 

&eph. Sabium. This Demetrius Zenus kis et de Blancbkfleue, traduite de 

is said to be the author of the r«XtM- I'Espagnol par Jacques Vincent. Paris, 

SM^;^MK, or Battlk of th£ Cats and 1554. Svo.— FLoamoNX xt PAssBaosK, 

ficx. See Cms. ubi supr. 396. And traduite de TEspagnol en prose FnuK 

Fabric. BibL Gr. L 264. 223. On ac- coise, Lyon, 15 . . . Svo. There is a 

count of the Greco-barbarous books French CKiition at Lyons, 1571. It was 

which began to grow common, chiefly perhaps originally Spanish, 

in Italy, about the year 1520, Stephen [Thetraudationof FLoaasandBLAV* 

a Sabio, or Sabius, abovementioned, the CAFLoax in Greek iambics might also be 

printer of many of them, published a made in compliment to Boccado. Hieir 

Greco-baibarous lexicon at Venice, 1527, adventures make the principal subject 

entitled, *' Corona PaxriosA, B^waytyn of his Philocofo : but the stoiy existed 

»!« iT<y{«f«/4tini 2r«f«Ni xt^*f^^t ff** k>ng before, as Boccacio himself informs 



EKGIifSH POETRY. 187 

and perhaps Italian, is likewise extant; very eaily jii Greek 
iambics, most probabtytts a transladon ittto diat iKnguage*. 
I could give many others; but 1 liasten to lay before my 
readers some specimens both o£ the Italian and the Greek 
Palamon and^Arcite^ Only premising, that both have 
about a thousand verses in each of the twelve books, and that 
the two first books are introductory : the first containing the 
war of Theseus with th^ Amazons, and the second that of 
Thebes, in which Palamon and Arcite are. taken prisoners. 
Boccacio thus describes the Temple qt^ars. 

N e icampi Tradi sotto icieli hybemi 
D a tempesta ccuatinuaf^tati 
D oue schier^ di nimbi sempitemi 
D a uenti or qua e ot lia tl'asmutiati 
I n uarii loghi nie igiia^osi u<^rm 
E de aqua globi per'fi'edb agropUti 
G itati sono eneiie lutta uia 
C he in giazo amanb ain^ se itidtina 

E una selua sterile de robusti 

C erri done eran fbldi e altiitiolto 

N odosi aspri rigidi e uetusti . , 

C he de ombra eterria ricoprenb ^ il viqlto 

us, L. L p. 6. edit. 1723. Fteres scad Where, for want of further iofomiAtioiH 

Blancaflore are mentioned as illustrious I' 1^ this pdlAt^doubtftd. 

lovers by MeUfres Eyniingau de Biz^n, ^ <For l&e use- «f the* Greek Thssbid 

a poet of Languedoc, in his BasviAU I am obliged 'to the politeness of Mr. 

D*AMom, dated in the year 128^8. 'Mi^ Stanley, who con^esdedds to patronise 

Rko. 19 C. i. fol. 199. Tbis'tate #a8 and[ assist the studies he so nell under- 

jprobably enlarged in passing through stands* I believe there is but one more 

the hands of Boccacio. S^'CAiit^a. "ed^y In £tf^Uaid, ^Ibdongiog to Mr. 

T. iv. p. 169.— Additions*] , Ramsay the. painter. Yet I have be^i 

[A German romance on this subject told 'that I)r.'4jebfge, provost 6fKing*8» 

was translated by Konrad Fluke fihom had a copy. The first edition of the 

the French of Robert d* Orleans, in the ^ ItidStth bedk, no lefts viOtiiOile a cuiiotity, 

earlj part of the thirteenth century. The is in the excellent library ^the very 

subject is referred to at an earlier period learned and communicative 0r. Askew, 

by several Provencal poets, ^uid tiiis, TlBrifslhe'<nily oOpyni Sngland. See 

coupled with die theatre of its events, Bibl. 3hitr. Addend. foL- zL Venet. 

makes Warton's conjecture extr^indy ' l7^5.^4to.^I' am infbrmed, that Dr. 

mobable that it is of Spanish 'o4ghLt«i« ^ G^otM^B^bboks,- among Urbilfth was the 

Edit.] Greek Theseid, were purchased by Lord 

' See supr. p. 183. ^In "the ^ Notes. Spenc^r.^^-^DbttidiTsi]. . 



18S THE HISTORY OF 

D d ^to suolo enfra li antichi fiisti 
D i ben mille furor sempre nuiolto 

V i ^ sentia grandissimo romore ^ 
N e uera bestia anchora ne pastore 

I n questa'nide la cha delo idlo 
A rmipotente questa edificata 
T utta de azzaio splendido e puGo 
D alquale era del sol riuerberata 
L aluce che aboreua il logbo rio 
T utta differro era la stretta entrata 
£ le porte eran de etemo admante 
F errato dogni parte tutte quante 

E le le colone di ferro custei 

V ide che lo edificio sosteneano 
L i impeti de menti parue alei 

V eder che fieri dela porta usiano 
£ il ciecho peehare e ogne omei 
S hnilemente quiui si uedeano 

V idiue le ire rosse come focho 
£ la paura palida in quel locho 

£ con gli occulti ferri itradimenti 

V ide e le insidie con uista apparenza 
L i discordia sedea esanguinenti 

F erri auea in mano e ogni difierenza 
£ tutti i loghi pareano strepenti 
D aspre minaze e di crudel intenza 
£ n mezo illocho la uertu tristissima 
S edea di d^ne laude pouerissixna 

V ideui ancora lo alegro fiurore 
£ oltre acio con uolto sanguinoso 
L a morte armata uide do stupore 
£ ogni altare qui uera copioso 

D i sangue sol ne le bataglie fore 
D i corpi human cacciato e luminoso 



ENGLISH POETRY. ia9 

£ ra claschim di focho tolto a terre 
A rse e di&te per le triste guerre 

£ t era il tempio tutto historiato" 
D i socil mano e di sopra ed intomo 
£ cio che pria ui uide designato 
£ ran le prede de nocte e di giomo 
T olto ale terre e qualunqi^e sforzato 
F u era qui in habito musomo 

V ideanui^i le gente incatenate 
P ord di ferro e forteze spezate 

V edeui ancor le naue bellatrici 
I n uoti carri e 11 uolti guastati 
£ i miseri pianti & infeUci 

£ t ogni forza con li aspecti e lati 

O gni ferita ancor si vedea lici 

£ sangue con le terre mescolati 

£ ogni logo con aspecto fiero 

S i uedea Marte turbido e aldero^ &c. ^ 

The Temple of Venus has these imageries. 

P oi presso ase uidde passar belleza 
S enza omamento alchun se riguardando 
£ gir con lei uidde piaceuolleza 
£ luna laltra secho comendano 

" Thus, "STtfi^ftmrm means paintings. In the middle Latin writers we have c2«- 

properlylu8tory-paintings,andiV«f«<'>and pmgere KisrtOB.iAiJTE%j to paint with hi- 

«wr^u», is to paint, in barbarous Greek, ttories or figures, viz. <' Forinsecus deal- 

Hiore are various examples in the By- bavit illud [delubrum,] intrinsecus au- 

santine writers. In middle Latinity jETu- tern depinxit historitJiter," Dudo de Act. 

toriographtu signifies literally a Painter, Norman. 1. iii. p. 153. Dante uses the 

Perhaps our HisroRiooRAPHKa rotal Italian word before us in the same sense, 

was originally the king's Illuminator. Dante, Purgat. Cant. x. 
>»e«*y^if«f ^ihri«r«e occurs in an In- Quivi era historiata Taka gloria 
scnption published by Du Cange, Dis- d^ Roman Prince.—- 

sertat. Joinv. xxvii. p. S19. Where ,. freauentlv occurs, simnly for oic 

wmr^e implies an artist who painted J^'*^^^ ^^^^ ^ colouL NUui 

i:^rttt^L''^Z'^i7e Monach.pv.Epist.61. K^U^ 

us..,..,tsusedforaPr^,Hb.ii. TR^^AX^^ra^TpW^ 

E« niv m-afn^m* tut J^mi* i)n9r»tnii9 « 'Ir*- And in a thousand other uistances. 
f iT«i. - * L. vii. 



P oi con lor wMq i^fsi ^cti^Q^zsf^ 
D estra e adorns v^XUn festc^aiKla 
£ daltra parte uidde el fole ardire 
L usinge e ruffianly in sieme gire 

I n mezo el locho in su alte ^o^e 

D i rame uidde un tconpLo al qual dintornor 

D anzando gipuenette uidde e done 

Q ual da se belle : e qual de habitp iidoriio 

T) iscinte e schalze in giube e in gone 

E in cio sol di^ndeano il gio^no 

P oi sopra el tempio uidde uolitare 

P assere molte e columbi rigiare 

£ alentrata del tempio uicina 

V idde che si sedeua piana mente 

M adona pace : e in mano una cortina 
N anzi la porta tenea Ueue mente 
A presso lei in uista assai tapina 
P acientia sedea discr^ inente 
P allida ne lo aspecto : e dogni parte 
£ intomo alei uidde promesse e carte 

P oi dentro al tempio entrata di sospiri 

V i senti un tumylto che giran^ 
F odioso tutto di caldi desiri 
Q uesto glialtri tutti alyminaua 
T> i noue fiame nate di martiri 

D i qua daschun di lagrime grondaua 
M osse da una dona cruda e ria 
C he uidde li chiamata gilosia, &c. 

Some of these stanzas are thus expressed in the Greco-bar- 
barous translation^. 

Els ToGrov hh rou dfoO^ rh dlxov rov pLsyiKov, 

^ PVom which it vas thou^^t proper gua^ge is Intelligible only to a T^ few 
to give no larger gpecimen, as the Ian- curious scholars. 



ENGLISH ^OETRlr. 191 

2rtt> 6 ^\$og Jhcfotm^ arrQeatrsv tig riy ^fyyof • 
*Airi SiftfMvn) wigrwrov^ jfo-dcy Keii ri xagfla^ 

afjrivcoTOVS iSiartvaVf ikov riv olxov xflvov, 
'ExsiSs rvjv ^vgxin^aVf rov Aoyio'ftov txf /ya>y^ 

^oxT^y iriqrav fiyiveurij ^ygoi xot) dufMiJi,hoi» 
Ka) T^vrv^Kij r^y dfj^grlav xoii ri Jua) xai ^ou 

1x00*6 l^^iy^ynjo'ay^ Jjxoioy o'^^y xa) T^ofXAa* 
Kal rai; 6gyetis htrxeiir^xsv^ xoxivaig 00$ ^anla. 

Toy ^^§oy hie Xo;^Xo]xoy^ 1x170*6 o'jx/ay ftsg/^. 

xa) Tflti^ ^oXo'/flti^ vovylvovraif xoti fttfia^ouy SiXoioo'o^fff. 
'JExerroy arvvriSao'laf iLwreCig 8ia^coy(aif^ 
tSoura i\$ TO X^fi}Ti)^9 o'fSffgflt futTOfiiva* 

ayglovg ySiq foSigKrfMvg, xmy^ATi^y [uOsiav. 
Mitra roy Tox'oy rouroyi , ^ x^^a Tv^sfji,hfrij 
txidsTOV 6 viwgeirsj vA tvcu iramyLir/i. ^ 

In passing through .Chaucer^s hands, this poem has receired 
many new beauties. Not only those coital fictions and de- 
scriptions, the temples of Mars, Venus, and Diana, with their 
allegorical paintinga, and the figures of Lycurgus and Eme- 
trius with th^ retinue, ane so much heightened by the bold 
and spirited manner of the British bard, as to strike us with 
an air of originality *. In the mean time it is to be remarked, 

* Th iu, B^fou M g.. yet wiUiout any ezpreasioiis of jeaknuyy 

* [Boccacur 8 situations and inddents, or appearance of rivalry. But m Chau* 
rejecting Ae lovers, are often inartifi- cer's management of the commencement 
dal and unafiecting. In tbe Italian poet, of this amour, Palamon by seeing Emilia 
Emilia walking in the garden and sing- first, acauires an advantage ova Ardte, 
ing, is seen bm heard first by Ardte, vdiSch uldmately renders the catastrophe 
who immediately calls Palamon. They more agreeable to poetical justice. It is 
are both equally, and at the same point an unnatural and unahimated piotute 
of time, captivated with her beauty; wluch Boccado presents, of tfalB two 



192 THE HISTORY OF 

that as Chaucer in some places has thrown in strokes of his 
own, so in others he has contracted the uninteresting arid tedious 
prolixity of narrative, which he found In the Italian poet And 
that he might avoid a servile imitation, and indulge himself as 
he pleased in an arbitrary departure from the original, it ap- 
pears that he neglected the embarrasmnent of Boccacio's stanza, 
and preferred the English heroic couplet, of which this poem 
afibrds the first conspicuous example extant in our language. 

The situation and structure of the temple of Mars are thus 
described. 

A forest 
In which ther wonneth neyther man ne best : 
With knotty knarry barrein trees old. 
Of stubbes sharpe, and hidous to behold. 
In which ther ran a romble and a swough*. 
As though a storme shuld bersten every bough. 

young princes violently enamoured of and Ardte the mildness of Hector; yet 
the same object, and still remaining in a Ardte by Boccado is here injudicioiuly 
state pf amity. In Chaucer, the quarrel represented as too moderate and pacific, 
between the two friends, the foundation In Chaucer he returns the salute with 
of all the future beautifUl distress of the the same degree of indignation, draws 
piece, commences at this moment, and his sword, and defies Palamon to sinele 
causes a conversation full of mutual rage combat. So languid is Boccacio's pum 
and resentment. This r^jpid transition of this amour, that Palamon does not 
finom a friendship cementCKl by every tie, begin to be j^ous of Ardte, tiU he is 
to the most implacable hostility, is on informed in the prison, that Ardte lived 
this occasion not only highly natural, but as a favourite servant with .Theseus in 
produces a sudden and unexpected disguise, yet known to Emilia. When 
chan^ of cucumstances, which enlivens the lovers see Emilia from the window 
the detail, and is always interesting, of thdr tower, she is supposed by Boc- 
Bven afterwards, when Ardte is released cado to observe them, and not to be dis- 
firom the prison by Perithous, he em- pleased at their signs of admiration, 
braces Palamon at parting. And in the This circumstance is justly omitted 
fiftti book of the Theseide, when Pala^ by Chaucer, as quite unnecesaary; an^r, 
mon goes armed to the grove in search not tending either to promote the pre- 
4>f Ardte, whom he finds sleeping, they sent business, or to operate in any di- 
meet on terms of much civility and stant consequences. On the whole, Chau- 
friendship, and in all the medumical cer has eminehtly shewn his good sense 
formality of the manners of romance, and judgement in rejecting the super- 
In Chaucer, this dialogue has a very dif- fluities, and improving the general ar- 
ferent cast. Palamon, at sedng Ardte, rangement of the story. He frequently 
feels a colde swerde glide throu^out his corredts or softens Boccado*s false man- 
heart : he starts from his ambuscade, and ners : and it is with singular address he 
instantly salutes Ardte with the appella- has often abridged the Italian poet's 
tion of false traitour. And aldiough ostentatious and pedantic parade of an* 
Boccado has merit in discriminating £e tient history and mythology.— Aonl- 



chancters of ^e two princes, by giving tions.] 
Palamon the unpetuoifity of Achilles, *.sot 



.sound. • 



EKdLjLSH POETRY. TdS 

And dounward from an hill, under a bent^ 
Ther stood the temple of Mars armipotent, 
Wrought all of burned *= stele: of which th' entree 
Was longe, and streite, and gastly for to see : 
And therout came a rage and swiche a vise^ 
Tliat it made all the gates for to rise^. 
The northern light in at the dore shone, 
For window on the wall ne was ther none, 
Thurgh which ^en mighten any light discerne. 
The dore was all of athamant eteme, 
Yclenched overthwart and endelong, 
. With yren tough, and for to make it strong. 
Every piler the temple to sustene 
Was tonne-grete^ of jnren bright and shene. 

The glooiny sanctuary of this tremendous fane, was adorned 
with these characteristical imageries. 

Ther saw I first the derke imagining 
Of Felonie, and alle the compassing : 
The cruel Ire, red as any gledes. 
The Pikepurse, and eke the pale Drede^; 
The Smiler with the knif under the cloke * : 
The shepen brenning with the blake smcdce*^ ; 
The Treson of the mordring in the bedde *, 
The open Werre with woundes jail bebledde ; 

*^ precquce [declivity]. Next stood Hypocrisy with hoty leer, 

*^ burnished. , Soft-snuling and demurely loddng 

* noise. [Periiaps we should read down, 

retif a Saion word signifying violence, But hid the dagger underneath the 

impetuosity. If this correction be ad- goton. 

mittedywe must also read in the next vnu />l lu.^ 

Iiiie1i« for rise, with MS. A.-Tvr- . ^"''"P*. ^"^ **^«"' "f sho^M read 

•1 chepyrif or ch^nng, i. e. a town, a place 

• "Yt strained the doors : almost "^ *«^ . ™« "°|« *^*"'w'%*?ff^ 
forced them from their hjnges." C^"'' ^.ty on fire. In W.ckl^ s 

f • . . - .^^ S:^^U4. Bible we have, " It is lyk to children 

'^^P^tun;^ tnn-waght. ^^^^ .„ .. CHErvNOE." Matt. xi. IQ. 

' I SZ. J u - -^ jav.' • ^' * [The stable, from the Sax. scy pen, which 

» Drydenhasconvertedthisimagemto ^__ifi-_ ^! __,„_ tj.. _ ^tVrwhitt 1 

riprical hvnorrisv under which he takes ^6*""^ "*® same inmg.— xyrwhitt.j 
ciencai^ypoOTsy, unoerwmcn ne taicw , Dryden has lowered this imagey 
an opportunity of gratifying his spleen •' - . » ' 

against the clergy. Knight's Tale, B. ii. Th* assassinating wife. ** — > 

p. 56. edit.. 1713: 

VOL. II. O 

I 



194 THE HISTORY OF 

Conteke" with blody knif % and sharp Manace, 
All fiill of chirking** was that sory place! 
The sleer of himself yet saw I there, 
His herte-blood hath bathed all his here, 
The naile ydriven in the shode on hight, 
The colde deth, with mouth gaping upright ''. 
Amiddes of the temple sate Mischance, 
With discomfort^ and sory countenance. 
Yet saw I Woodnesse* laughing in his rage. 
Armed complamt, outhees, and fiers Outrage; 
The carraine in the bush, with throte ycorven% 
A thousand slain, and not of qualme ystorven". 
The tirant, with the prey by force yraft, 
The toun destroied, ther was nothing laft. 
Yet saw I brent the shippes hoppesteres*, 
The huntef ystrangled with the wilde beres. 

" strife. ^ " slain»— not destroyed by sickness 

* This image is likewise entirely mis- or dying a natural deafii." 

represented by Dryden, and turned to a * [It is needless to troubla the reader 

satire on the Church. with the various readings and interpre- 

Contest with shupen'd knives in chu- ^""fi *» ^^T^-.J" '"^•^ 
jter»dra»ra "»•>"«=» "i;s' Ssxon (though with us it has acquired a 

Anj .11 .rf<i. mJLi k~,«~..j .!,• u.. ludicrous sense), and the termination 

U^ ^ *« or tfer, was S»d to denote a female, 

like <nr in Lalsn. As therefore a female 

^ Any disagreeable noise, or hollow baker was called a bakester, a female 

tiurmur. Pro^ly, the jarring of a door brewer a brewester, a female webbe or 

upon the hinges. See also Chaucer's weaver a webbester, so I concdve a 

Boeth. p. S64. b. Urr. edit. << When female hopper or dancer was called a 

the felde chirkinge agrisethe of the colde, hoppester. It is well known that a ship 

by the fellnesse of the wind A^uilon.** in most languages is considered as a fe- 

The original is, « Vento Campus inhor- male. .... Though the idea of a ship 

ruit*' dancing on the waves be not An unpoe- 

' This couplet refers to the suicide in tical one, the adjunct hoppesteres does 

the preceding one ; who is supposed to not seem so proper in thi& j^ace as the 

kill himself by driving a nail into his beUatrici of the Theseida, 1. viL 

head [in the nightl, and to be found dead \t^a^,^ -..«v« i^ «-«: i,^n *-.• • 

and cold in hTs bid, with his - mouth 7 ^ ^ r ^^!? 

gapyng upryght" 'xhis ispropc^ly the ^^ vot. cam e h -olti|ua^ 

meaning of his ''hair beine bathed in * . 

blood.** Shode, in the text, is literally a This note has been given to justify the 

bu^ of hair. Dryden has finely para- adoption of Mr. Tyrwhitt*s reading. It 

' phrased this passage. [The old printed is to be regretted that this distinguiaiied 

text on which Warton s paraphrase is critic thought it right to withhold the 

founded, read : <<in tiie shode anyght.** << various readings of this passage,*' 

— JSdit. ] . since few could have been mora obscure 

' m adness. ' throat cut. or apparently more incongruous than the 



ENGLISH POETRY. 195 

The sow freting^ the child right in the cradel, 
The cokee yscalled, for all his long ladel. 
Nought was foryete by th' infortune of Marte; 
The carter* overridden by his cartel. 
Under the wheel fall low he lay adoun. 
Ther were also of Martes division. 
The Armerer, and the Bowyer, and the Smith 
That forgeth sharpe swerdes on his stith'. 
And all above, depeinted in a tour, 
Saw I Conquest sitting in gret honour. 
With thilke sharpe swerd over his hed, 
Y-hanging by a subtil twined thred. * 

This groupe is the eSort of a strong imagination, unac- 
quainted with selection and arrangement of images. It is rudely 
thrown on the canvas without order or art. In the Italian 
poets, who describe every thing, and who cannot, even in the 
most serious representations, ejasily suj^ress their natural pre*-- 
dilection for burlesque and familiar imagery, nothing is more 
common than this mixture of sublime and comic ideas ^. The 
form of Mars fcdlows, touched with the impetuous dashes of 
a savage and spirited pencil. 

one upon which bis election has fallen, lead one to believe that Chaucer intended 

Tlie ci>vious meaning of ** shippes hop- to heighten his imagery by a strong anti- 

pesteres,** (admitting Mr. Tyrwhitt's thesis, and to paint a fleet destri^ed by 

e^rmology to be correct,) is the dancers fire upon the surface of the water. It 

of the ships for to interpret it sMps^ may be right to observe) that in Saxon 

dancers, quasi the .dancing sf^ts, would and all the Northern la n g uages, a ship 

not only be agsunst all analogy, tiut leaves is of the neuter gender.— -Edit. ] 

the sense and the sentence incomplete^ f [the huntsman ; firom the 6aion 

The old reading " shippes upon steris" Awnfo.— TTawHrrr.] 

is not without its difficulties, and if cor- ^. devouring. 

feet might perhaps be interpreted << ships ^ charioteer. 

upon steyeres," or as we now should say, ^ chariot. 

ships ui>on the stocks. But it is idle to * anvil. 

oflfer conjectures upon a text which may * v. 1998. p. IQ, Urr* 

rest upon no better authority than the ^ There are many othe^ instances of 

whim of an indolent transcriber, or the this mixture, v. 1179. " We strive as 

mistake of a printer's compositor. An did the houndis for the bone." v. 1264. 

inspection of the manuscripts can alone " We fare as he that dronk is as a mouse, 

dcdde the preference due to one reading &c** v. 2762. << Farewel physick! Go 

over another, and this must be left to here the corse to church." v. 2521. 

some future editor of the Canterbiu7 " Some said he lokid grim and he woldt 

Tales. Tb« context, however, would fight," &c. 

o2 



196 THE HISTORY OF 

The statue*^ of Mars upcm a carte* stood. 
Armed, and loked grim as he were wood*. 
A wolf ther stood beforne him at his fete 
With eyen red, and of a man he ete. 
With subtil pensil peinted was this stone, 
In redouting ^ of Mars and of his glorie. ^ 

But the ground-work of this whole description is in the 
Thebaid of Statius. I will make no apology for transcribing 
the passage at large, that the reader may judge of the resem- 
blance. Mercury visits the temple of Mars, situated in the 
frozen and tempestuous regions of iTirace. ^ 

Hie steriles delubra notat Mavortia sylvas, 
Horrescitque tuens: ubi mille furoribus illi 
Cingitur, adverso domus immansueta sub lEmo, . 
Ferrea compago laterum, ferro axcta tenmtur 
Limina, ferratis incumbunt tecta columnis. 
Lseditur adversum Pfaoebi jubar, ipsaque sedem 
Lux timet, et dirus ccmtristat sydera fiilgor. 
Digna loco static. Pmnis subh impZ amens 
E foribus, caecumque Ne&s, Irsequ^ rubentes, 
Exanguesque Metus ; occultisque ensibus astant 
Insidiae, geminumque tenens Discordia ferrum. 
Innumeris strepit aula minis. Tristissima Virtus 
Stat medio, Isetusque Furor, vultuque cruento 
Mors armata sedet Bellorum solus in aris 
Sai^tiis^ et incaisis qui taptus ab urbibus ignis. 

*^ fimn, or figure. Statuary b hot Here we see tbe force of description 

implied here. Thus be mentions the wttiioizt a profusion of idle epithets* 

siattLdoi Mars on a banner, supr. v. 977. These verses are all sinew ; theiy have 

I cannot forl)ear adding in tins place notliing but yerfos and substantiyes. 

thesefineyersesof Mars armmg himself * <* chariot. ^ mad. 

in haste, from our author's ComplahU of f recordmg, {re^ferenee, T.] . ' 

Mars and Venus, v. 99. « y. 2043. ' ' ' , 

He throwW. on his heUne of bugd . ''Cl^ucer points,out thU v«y temple 

wdsht • * m the introductory lines, y. 1981. 

And girt hun with his sworde, and in Like to the estries of the grisly place 

his bond That bight the grete temple of Mars in 

His mighty spere, as he was wont to ^ Thrace. > 

^ght,. In thilke cold and frosty region. 

He 8heki£ so, that it almost to wonde. Ther as Mars has his sovran Qiansion. v 



ENG1.ISH I^OETRY. '197 

Tetrarum exuviae circumi et &stigia templi 
Capts^ insignibant gentes, ccelataque ferro 
Fragmina portarum, bellatricesque carinae, 
Et vacui currus, protritaque curribus ora. * 

Stadus was a favourite writer with the poets of the middle 
ages. His bloated.magnificence of description, gigantic images, 
and pompous dicticm, suited their taste, and were somewhat of 
a piece with the romances they so much admired. They neg- 
lected the gentler and genuine graces of Virgil, which they 
'could not relish. His pictures were too correctly and chastely 
drawn to take their fimcies : and truth of design, elegance of 
expression, and the arts of composition were not their ob- 
jects*^. I^ the mean time we. must observe, that in Chaucer's 
Temple of Mars many personages are added: and that those 
which existed before in Statins have been retouched, enlarged, 
and rendered more distinct and picturesque by Boccacio and 

» Stat Theb. vji. 40. And bdow we Ver. 90a p. 8. Urr. e(!it. 

have Chaucer's Doors ofadamaiU eierne, A company of ladys twey and twey, Sec, 

viz. V. 68, Thus Theseus, at his return in triumph 

Clausgque" adamante perenni from conquering Scythia, is accosted by 

Dissiluere fores. — ^- — ^ the dames of Thebes, Stat. Tukb. xiL 

Statius also calls Mars, Armhwtens. 

▼. 78. A sacrifice is copied from Statius, Jamquc domos patriae, Scythicaj post 

where says Chaucer, ▼. 2296. aspera gentis 

And did her thingis as men might ^^^^ \^rmg^ subeuntem TTiesea 

behold CMTTVL 

T« p# -- .^ fA A - Laetifici plausus, &c. Sec 

m Stace or Thebes. — — — Paulum et ab insessis mcest« Pelopddes 

I think Statius is copied in a simile, ^^g 

V. 1640. The introduction of this poem Promovere gMdum, seriemque et dona 

is also taken from the Thebaid, xii. 545. triumphi 

481. 797. Compare Chaucer's lines, Mirantur, victique ammo redicre mariti. 

V. 87a seq. v. 917. seq. v. 996. seq. ^tque ubi tardavit currus, et ab axe su- 

The funeral pyre of Arate is also trans- perbo 

latedfrom Theb. vi. 195. seq. See Ch. 5xploratcausa&victor,poscitquebenigna 

V. 294a seq. I likewise take this oppor- ^^^ preces; orsa ante alias^Capaneia 

tunity of obsa^ing, that Lucretius and conjux, 

Plato are imitated in this poem. Toge- Belliger ^gide, &c 

Aer with many passages from Ovid and ^^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^p.^^ S^^^j,,^^ ^^^ 8g,_ 

v^ m ., j^ J ^, X. ^ ^^') Kn. T. from ▼. 519. to v. 60a 

I .!i'l^'^""'"1^1^* ^^JI^T Theb. See also ibid. 465. seq. 
Uted the arauments of the twelve bodLs ^ 

of the Th^d of Stattus. See B. v. „ . ^^ X;,^ P- V .. ^ , „ 
p. 1479. seq. Here m the Temple of the goddess 

[But to be more particular as to these Cleraence, &c. 

imitations. Stotius mentions the temple of Clemency 



198 THE HISTORY OF 

Chaucer. Arcite's address to Mars, at entering the temple, 
has great dignity, and is not copied from Statins. 

O stronge god, that in the regnes odd 
Of Trace honoured art, and lord yhold ! 
And hast in every regne, and every lond, 
Of armes al the bridel in thin hond; 
And hem fortunist, as thee list devise. 
Accept of me my pitous sacrifise^ 

The following portrait of Lycurgus, an imaginary king of 
Thrace, is highly charged, and very great in tlie gothic s^le 
of painting. 

Ther maist thou se, coming with Palamon, 

Lycurge himself^ the grete king of Trace ; 

Blake was his berde, and manly was his face : 

The cercles of his eyen in his hed 

They gloweden betwixten yalwe aild red : 

And like a griffon loked he about, 

With kemped heres on his browes stout : 

His limmes gret, his braunes hard and stronge. 

His shouldres brode, his armes round and longeu 

And as the guise was in his contree 

Ful highe upon a char of gold stood he : 

as tbe asylum where these ladies were for the pyre, with the consternation of 

assembled, Theb. xii. 481. the Nymphs, takes up more tiian twenty-^ 

Urbefuit media, nulliconcessapotentum fow Hnes. ▼. 84--.116, In Chaucer 

Ara deum, mitis posuit dementia se- about thirteen, ▼. 2922— 2987. InBoc- 

dem, &c. cacio, six stanzas. B. xi. Of the three 

y 294:7 poets, Stadus is most reprehensible, the 

Ne what jewillisineni^to the fire fsast, fiwt auAor of Ais ill-placed wd unae- 
g^^ cessary description, and who did not hve 

_ . „ 1 o^^ rn • r./>r. M> * Gothic age. The statues of Mars 

Literally from Statius, Thbb. vi. 206. ^^ yenus J imagined had been copied 

IMtanturflammiB,nonunquamopulen- from Fulgentius, Boccacio's favorite 

tior lUa ^ mythographer. But Fulgentius says 

Ante chiis; crepitant gemmae, Ac nothing of Mars : and of Venus, that 

But the whole of Arcite's ftmeral is she only stood in the sea on a couch, 

minutely copied from Statius. More attended by the Graces. ItisfromSta- 

than a hundred parallel lines on this sub- tins that Theseus became a hero of ro- 

ject miffht be produced from each poeL mance.-i»ADDiTi0H8.] 

In Statius the account of the trees felled * y. 2375, 



EHOLISH POETRY. 190 

With foure white bolles in the trab. 
Instead of cote-armure, on his hamais 
With nayles ydwe, and bright as any gold, 
He hadde a beres° skin cole-blake for old. 
His longe here was kempt behind his bak, 
As any ravenes fetherit shone for blake. 
A wreth of gold armgrete®, of huge weight, 
Upon his hed sate fidl of stones bright, 
Of fine rubins, and of diamants. 
About his char ther wenten white alauns^, 
Twenty and mo, as gret as any stere. 
To hunten at the leon or the dere ; 
And folwed him with moseH fast ybound, 
Colered with gold' and torretes* filed' round. 
A hundred lordes had he in his route, 
Armed fiill wel, with hertes steme and stoute. " 

The figure of Emetrius king of India, who comes to the aid of 
Arcite, is not inferior in the same style, with a mixture of grace. 

" a bear's. ' In Hawes's Pastime op Pleasure, 

** as big as your arm. [written temp. Hen. VII.] Fame is aU 

^ greyhounds. A favourite species of tended with two greyhounds ; on whose 

dogs in the middle ages. In theantient golden collars G^race and Govemaunct 

pipe-rolls, payments are frequently made are inscribed in diamond letters. Se^ 

in greyhounds. Rot. Pip. an. 4. Reg. next note. 

Johann. [A.D. 1203.] << Rog. Consta- ' rings ; the fastening of dogs* collars. 

buL Cestrie debet D. M areas, et X. They are often mentioned in the Invkn- 

palfridos et X. laissas Lejwrariorum pro tort of furniture, in the royal palaces 

habenda terra Vidonis de Loverell de of Henry the Eighth, above cited. MSS. 

quibus debet reddere per ann. c* M.'* Harl. 1419. In the Castle of Windsor. 

Ten leashes of greyhounds. Rot. Pip. Article Collars, f. 409. " Two grey- 

an. 9. Reg. Johimn. [A.D. 1208.] << Su- houndes collars of crimsun velvett and 

THANT. Johan. Teingre debet c* fl. et clothofgold, lacking ^orre/fe*.**—" Two 

X. leporarios magnos, ptdchroSf et honos^ other collars with the kinges armes, and 

de redemtione sua,** &c. Rot Pip. an.ll. attheendeportcullisandrose.**— <<Item, 

Reg. Johan. [A. D. 1210.] "EvERVETC- a collar embrawdered with pomegra- 

siRE. Rog. de Mallvell redd. comp. nates and roses with turrets of silver and 

de I. palemdo velociter currente, et II. gilt.**— << A collar garnished vrith stole- 

Laisus leporariorum pro habendis Uteris worke with one shallop sheUe of silver 

deprecatoriis ad Matildam de M.** I and gilte, with^orref^ and pendauntes 

could give a thousand other instances of of sUver and guilte.**-— " A collar of 

the sort. [Alano is the Spanish name white velvette, embrawdered with perlet^ 

of a species of dog which the dictionaries the swivels of silver. * * 

call a masti^l-^-TTRWifiTT.] ^ filed; highly polished. 

' muzzle. " T. 2129. 



200 X H £ HISTORYOF 

With Arcita, in stories as. men find, 
The gret Emetrius, the king of Inde, 
Upon a stede bay, trapped in stele, 
Covered with cloth of gold diapred*' wele, 
Came riding like the god of armes Mars : 
His cote-armure was of a cloth of Tars*, 
Couched with perles, white, and romid and grete ; 
His sadel was of brent ^ gold new ybete, 
A mantelet upon his shouldres hanging, 
Bretfull ^ of rubies red, as fire sparkling. 
His crispe here like ringes* was yronne, 
And that w^s yelwe, and gUtered as the Sonne. 
His nose was high, ^ eyen bright citrin*'^ 
His lippes round, his cdour was sanguin. 
And a fewe fi'aknes in his face ysprent*^, 
Betwixen yelwe and blake somdele yraeint**. 
And as a leon he his loking caste ^ 
Of five and twenty yere his age I caste. 
His herd was well begonnen for to springs 
His vois was as a trompe thondiring. 
Upon his hed he wered, of laurer grene 
A gerlond freshe, and lusty for to sene. 
Upon his hond he bare for his deduit^ 
An egle tame, as any lily white '^. 
' An hundred lordes had he vnth him there, 
All armed, save hir hedes, in all hir gere^. 

^ See this word explained above, p. 9. £dw. III. ut supr. It often occurs in 

'^ Not of Tarsus in Cilicia. It is rather this wardrobe-accounts for furnishing 

an abbreviation for Tartarin, or Tartar tournaments. Du Oinge says, that this 

tium* See Chaucer*s Flotvre and Leafs, was a fine cloth manufactured in Tartary. 

v.'212. Gloss. TTar^artttwi. But Skinner in V. 

On every trumpe hanging a brode derives it from Tortona in the Milanese, 

bannere ^^ cites Stat. 4. Hen. VIJI. c vi. 

Of fine Tartanum full richely bete. J[ burnt, burnished. 

That it was a costly stuff appears from ' ?^^^ ^"^\- _ ^X-^^ 

hence. « Et ad faciendum unum Ju- I lemon-colour, Lat. CUrmus. 

pQun de Tartoryn blu pouderat cum spnnkled. 

Srterils blu paratis cum boucles el pen- ' " ^^a A ""^ ^^"^^ ^"^ ^^^*''^- 

donts de argenjto deaurato." Comp. J. ^ S! «^f ^^ 

Coke Provisoris Magn. Garderob. temp. 



' See vol. ii p. 178. * armoiir. 



E-KGLIS.H POETRY. 201 

About this king ther ran on every part 
Full many a tame lecm, and leopart ^ 

The banner of Mars displayed by Theseus, is sublimely 
conceived. 

The red statue of Mars, with spere and targe, 
So shineth in his white banner large 
That al the feldes gliteren up and doun.^ 

This poem has many strokes of pathetic description, of 
which these specimens may be selected. 

Upon that other side Palamon 

Whan that he wist Arcita was ygon,' 

Swiche sorwe he maketh, that the grete tour 

Resouned of his ydling and clamour : 

The pure fetters on his shinnes f^^te 

Were of his bitter salte teres wete. ^ . . 

Arcite is thus described, after his return to Thebes, w^e 
he impairs of seeing Emilia again. 

His slepe, his mete, his drinke, is him byraft; 
That lene he wex,'ahd drie as is a shaft: 
His eyen holwe, and grisly to behold 
His hewe falwe, and pale as ash^n^ cold: 
And solitary he was, and ever alone, 
And wailing all the ni^t, making his mone* 
And if he herde song or instrument, 
, .. "■ Than wold he wepe, he mighte not be stent"*. 
So feble were his spirites and so low. 
And changed so, that no man coude know 
His speche, ne his vois, though men it herd." 

Palamon is thus introduced in the procession of His rival 
Arcite's iuneral : 

«*v. 2157. ' V, 977. hashes. ""stayed, 

* T. 1277. ' "v. 1363. 



202 THE HISTORY OF 

Tho came this woftil Theban Palamon 
With flotery^ berd, and ruggy ashy heres, 
In clothes blake ydropped all with teres, 
And, (passing over of weping Emelie,) 
Was reufiillest of all the compagnie.^ 

To which may be added the surprise of Palamon, concealed 
in the forest, at hearing the disguised Arcite, whom he sup- 
poses to be the squire of Theseus, discover himself at the men- 
tion of the name of Emilia. 

Thrughout his herte 



He felt a colde swerd sodenly glide : 

For ire he quoke, no lenger wolde he hide. 

And whan that he had herd Arcites tale. 

As he were wood, with face ded and pale. 

He sterte him up out of the bushes thikke, &c.*> 

A description of the morning must not be omitted; which 
vies, both in sentiment and expression, with the most finished 
modem poetical landscape, and finely displays our authoPa 
talent at delineating the beauties of nature. 

The besy larke, messager of day, 
Saleweth^ in hire song the morwe gray; 
And firy Phebus risedi up so bright, 
That all the orient lauirheth of the siirht* : 
And with his stremeslieth in the ^eves' 
The silver dropes hanging on the leves. ** 

Nor must the figure of the blooming Emilia, the most beau- 
tifiil object of this vernal picture, pass unnoticed. 

« squallid. [ Flotery seems literally to edition of Chaucer in 1561 . So also the 

mean floating;, as luur dishevelled (ra^ barbarous Greek poem on this story, 

huffata) may be said to flote upon the *0 Ov^af»s ix^t 9^1 >«. Dryden seems to 

an*.— Ttrwhxtt.] have read, or to have made out of this 

' V. 2884^ ^ V. 1576. mispelling of Horison, Obisnt.— The 

' saluteth. ear instructs us to reject this emendation. 

' See Dante, Purgat c i. p. 234. —Additions.] 

[For Orient, perhaps Orisounty or the *■ groves, bushes. 
horison, is the true reading. So the " v. 1493. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 203 

' Emelie, that fayrer was to sene 
Than is the Ulie upon his stalke grene ; 
And fresher than the May with floures newe, 
(For with the rose colour strof hire hewe). ^ 

In other parts of his works he has painted morning scenes 
con arhore : and his imagination seems to have been peculiarly 
struck with the charms of a rural prospect at sun-rising. 

We are surprised to find, in a poet of such antiquity, num* 
bers so nervous and flowing : a circumstance which greatly con- 
tributed to render Dryden's paraphrase of this poem the mo^ 
animated and harmonious piece of versification in the English 
language. I cannot leave the Knight's Tale without remark- 
mg, that the inventor of this poem appears to have possessed 
^considerable talents for the artificial construction of a story. 
It exhibits unexpected and striking turns of fortune; and 
abounds in those incidents which are calculated to strike the 
&ncy by opening resources to subUme description, or interest 
the heart by pathetic situations. On this account, even with- 
out considering the poetical and exterior ornaments of the 
piece, we are hardly disgusted with the mixture of manners, 
the confusion of times, and the like vicdations of propriety, 
whidi this poem, in common with all others of its age, presents 
in almost every page. The action is supposed to have hap- 
pened soon afler the marriage of Theseus with Hippolita, aind 
the death of Creon in the si^e of Thebes : but we are soon 
transported into more recent periods. Sunday, the cdiebration 
of matins, judicial astrology, heraldry, tilts and tournaments, 
knights of England, and targets of Prussia^, occur in the city 
of Athens under the reign of Theseus. 

^ V. 1037. See also Ch. Prol. v. 53 ; where tour- 

' The knights of the Teutonic order naments in Prussia are mentioned. 

were settled in Prussia, before 1300. Arcite quotes a fable from iEsop, v. 1179. 



204 :THE HIST.ORY O-F 



SECTION XIII. 



OHAUCER's Romaunt of the Rose is translated from a 
French poem entitled Le Roman be la Rose. It was begmi 
by William of Lorris, a student in jurisprudence, who died 
aboutwthe year 1260 *» Being left unfinished, it was completed 
by John of Meun, a native of a litde town of that name, situated 
on the river Loire near Orleans, who seems to have flourished 
about the year 1310^. This poem is esteemed by jhe French 
the most valuable piece of their old poetry. It is fiur beyond 
the rude efforts of all their preceding rcmiancers : and they 
have nothing equal to it before the reign of Francis the Firsts 
who died in the year 1547. But there is a ccmsiderable dif* 
ference in the merit of the two authors. William of Lorris^ 
who wrote not one quarter of the poem, is remarkable for his 
elegance and luxuriance of description, and is a beautifiil painter 
of allegorical personages. John of Meun is a writer of another 
cast. He possesses but litde of his predecessor's inventive and 
poetical vein ; and in that respect was not properly qualified to 
finish apoem begun by William of Lorris. But he has strong 
satire, and great liveliness^. He was one of the wits of the 
court of Charles le BeL 

. The difiiculties and dangers of a lover, in pursuing and ob- 
taining the object of his desires, are the literal argument of this 
poem. This design is couched under the allegory of a Rose, 
which our lover after frequent obstacles gathers in a delicious 
garden. He traverses vast ditches, scales lofty walls, and forces 
the gates of adamantine and almost impregnable castles. These 

" Fauchet, p. 1 98. * TTie poem bonsists of 22734 verses. 

^ Id. ibid. p. 200. He also translated William of Lorris*s part ends with 

Boethius De Consolatione, and Abelard*t v. 4149. viz. 

Lctlers, and -wxotc Answers of the SubiUs, .. . . ^^^^ j,.^,.^:. t. 

a ' ^ cr » « ^ pg^ qmj jg ^^ ^ g^ desespoir. 



ENGLISH POETBT. 205 

enchanted fortresses are all inhabited by various divinb- 
ties; some of which assist, and some oppose, die lover's pro- 
gress**. 

Chaucer has luckily translated all that was written by Wil- 
liam of Lorris * : he gives only part of the continuation of John 
of Meun ^. How fer he has improved on the French original, 
die reader shall judge. I will exhibit passages selected from 

' In the preface of the edition printed a pine.** v. 1457. He says of roses, 

in the year 1538, all this allegory is "sofaire werin never in 12one.**Y. 1674. 

turned to religion. The Rose is proved ** That for Paris ne for Pavie."«qr. 1654. 

to be a state of grace, or divine wisdom. He has sometimes reference to French 

or eternal beatitude, or the Holy Virgin ideas, or words, not in the original. As 

to which heretics cannot gain access. It *<Men clepin hem Sereins in France.'* 

is the white Rose of Jericho, Quad v. 684. << From Jerusalem to Burgoine.** 

pUmtatio Rosts in Jericko, &c. &c The v. 554. « Grein de Paris.'* v. 1369. 

chemists, in the mean time, made it a Where Skinner says, Paris is contracted 

seardi for the Philosopher*s Stone: and for Paradise* In mentioning minstrells 

other profesnons, with laboured com- and juglers, he says, that some of them 

mentaries, explained it into their own *<Songin songes of Loraine." v. 776. 

respective sciences. He a£ls, 

^ See Occieyfe*s Letter of Cupide, writ- t? • t • .l ^» •. 

ten 1402. Urry*s Chaucer^' 536. v. 283. 5%'" ^^'^^ ^«^, ."^« ^ 

Who calls John of Moon the author of ^"^ ^^«^' ^^ "^ ^^ ^^'*- 

the Romaunt of the Rose, There is not a syllable of these songs, 

f Chaucer*s poem consists of 7699 and singers, of Loraine, in the French, 
verses : and ends with this verse of the By the way, I suspect that Chaucer trans- 
original, vias. V. 13105.. lated this poem while he was at Paris. 
" Vous aurez absolution. " There are also many allusions to English 
n ^rrt. t- J ... affairs, which I suspected to be Chau- 
But OiaucCT has nmde several oniissions ^^.^ but 'they are all in the French 
m Jrfm of Meun s part, before he comes rf^naL Suchas, « Hompipis of Come- 
to dus period. He has transited ^ ^^^., ^, 4350. These are called in the 
WiUiam of Loms s part, as I have ob- ^^ginal, « Chalemeaux de ComouaiUe. '* 
senred ; and his ttanslation of that part ^, Ig^j. ^ knight is introduced, allied 
ends with v. 4432. viz. tokin^" Arthourof Bretaigne.*'v.ll99. 
** Than shuldin I fallin in wanhope." Who is called, " Bon roy Artus de Bre- 
Chaucer's cotemporaries called his Ro- ^}^" ^^^' I' V^I'^fK^^' ^""^ 

«m«* of^iJose, a translation. Lydgate ^'^^^° ^/ ^'^J, '^"ferio' 

says that Chaucer chwactens^ v. 3206. seq. See Orrg. 

^- ^ , , ,.j , . , . V. 2124; Where the word Ji^ur IS cor- 

^Notably did his busmesse ruptforKeie. But there is one passage. 

By grete avyse his wittes to dispose, in which he mentions a JEfitckdere^&ir 

To translate the Romans op the Rose. ^ « ^^ j^^^^ ^^^^ ^^ Windisore." 

Prol. Boch* St. vL It is .manifest that v. 1250. This is added by Chaucer, and 

Chaucer took no paios to disgiiise.his intended as ^ compliment to some of his 

translation. He literally follows the patrons* In the Legende of good Wome^iy 

Frendi, in sayiffg, that a river was <<lesse Cupid says to Chaucer, v. 329. 

than &xme,** u e.^the Seine at Paris. « . , . •.!..• j i. 

V.118. "Nowightfaiidl Paris." V. 7157. ^""^ »" f^ ^"^^ withoutm nede of 

A grove has m(»e birds « than ben in __ 3^^ ,,-,*i. « ^ jf^^ 

all the relpie of i5Vyi«n«r, V. 495. He '^ouhe^transUUuliheRimauraofthe 
calls a pine, " A tree in France men call Rose, 



806 



THE HISTORY OF 



both poems : respectively placing the Fraich under die En*- 
glish, for the convenience of comparison. The renovation of 
nature in the month of May is thus described. 

TTiat it was May, thus dremed me, ^ 

In time of love and jollite, 

That all thing ginnith waxin gay, 

For ther is neither buske nor hay* 

In May that it n'ill shroudid bene, 

And it with newe levis wrene' : 

These wooddis eke recoverin gr^ie, 

TTiat drie in winter ben to sene; 

And the erth waxith proude withall 

For sote dewis that on it fall, 

And the povir estate forgette 

In whiche that winter had it sette : 

And than becometh the grounde so proude^ 

That it vrill have a new^ shroud ; 

And make so quaynt his robe and fayre. 

That it had hewes an hundred payre. 

Of grasse and flowris Inde and Pers : 

And many hewis fill divers 

That is the, robe I mene iwis. 

Through which the ground to praisin is, 

The birdis, that han lefte thir songe 

While they han suf&id cold fill stronge, 



' Qju*on joli moys de May songeoye, 
Ou temps amoreux plein de joye> 
Que toute chose si s*esgaye. 
Si qu'il n'y a buissons ne haye 
Qui en May parer ne se vueille^ 
£t couvrir de nouTelle fueUle : 
Les boys recouvrent leur verdure. 
Qui sont sees tant qui Thiver dure ; 
La terre mesmes s*en orgouiHe 
Pour la-roue^ qui ta mouille. 
En oublian la povret^ 
Oil elle a tout rtiiver estd ; 
liors devient la terre si gobe, 
Qu*elle veult avoir neusve robe; 
Si s^et si cointe robe fiiire, 
Que de couleurs y a cent paire, 



D'herbes, de fleures Indes et Ferset : 
£t de maintes couleurs diverses. 
Est la robe que je devise 
Parquoy la terre mieulz se prise. 
Les oiseaulx qui tant se sont teuz 
Pour rhiver qu'ils ont tous sentuz, 
Et pour le firoit et divers temps, 
Sont en May, et par la printemps. 
Si liez, &C. v. 51. 

^ bush, or hedge-row. SometimeB 
Wood. Rot. Pip. an. 17. Henr. IIL 
'< Et Heremite saneti Edward! in baga 
de Birchenwude, xl. sc^" 

^ hide* fVom wrisi or wrey^ to- contr* 



£NGLifiH POETRY. 



807 



In wethers grille^ and darke to sight, 
Ben in May, for the siume bright 
So glad, &c.' 

In the description of a grove, within the garden d Mirth, 
are many natural and picturesque circumstances, which are 
not yet got into the storehouse of modem poetry. 

These trees were sett as I devise®, 
One from another in a toise. 
Five fadom or sixe, I trowe so. 
But they were hie and gret also; 
And for to kepe out wel the sunne. 
The croppis were so thik yrunne". 
And everie branch in othir knitte 
And fill of grene levis sitte% 
That sunn^ might ther none discende 
Lest the tendir grassis shende^. 
Ther might men does and roes ise^. 
And of squirels fid grete plente. 
From bow to bow alwaie lepinge ; 
Connis*" ther were also playing*. 
That comin out of ther clapers *, 
Of sondrie colors and maners ; 
And madin many a tumejong 
Upon the freshe grasse springing." 

Near this grove were shaded fountains without frogs, run-' 



^ cold, [horridus. Prompt Fanr.l 
» V. Sh 

™ Mais sachi^ que les aibres ftirent 
Si loing a loing comme estre durent 
L'uog flit de 1 autre loing assb 
De cinque toises voyre de six, 
Mais moult furent nieilluz et haulx 
Pour gardir de Teste le chaulx 
Et si espls par dessus furent 
Que chaleurs percer ne lis peuvent 
Ne ne povoient bas descendre 
Ne faire mal a Terbe tendre. 
Au vergier eut diuns & chevreleuZy 
£t aussi beaucoup d*«8Ciureux, 



Qui par dessuB aii>res saiUoyent; 
Conuins y avoit qui ystoient 
Bien souvent hears de leurs tanieres, 
£n moult de divo^ses manieres. r. 1368. 

** «the tops, or boughs, were so thickly 
twisted together/' 



» 



"set. 
q 



"•be hurt 

T 



see. * comes. 

* Chaucer imitates this passage in the 
Assemble ofFotUes. v. 190. seq. O&er 
passages of that poem are imitated from 
Roman de ia Rose* 

*■ burroughs. 

" T, 1891. 



SOS 



THE HISTORY OF 



ning into 'fl^urmuring rivulets, bordered with the softest grass 
enamdled with various flowers. 

In placii^ sawe I wellis there ^ 
In which^ ther no frbggis were, 
And faire in shadow was eche wel ; 
But I ne can the nombre tel 
Of stremis smale, that by devise 
Mirth had don com thorough condise^. 
Of which the watir in renning, 
Gan makin a noise fill liking. 
About the brinkis of these wellis, 
*■ And by the stremes ovir al ellis 

Sprange up the grasse as thick isett 
And soft eke as any velvett 
On which man might his leman ley 
As softe as fetherbed to pley. — 
There sprange the violet all newe. 
And freshe perwinke^ riche of hewe; 
And flouris yalowe white and rede, 
Such plenti grew ther ner in mede : 
Full gale waSs al the grpunde and queint 
And poudrid, as men had it peint. 
With many a fresh and sondry floure 
That castin up ftil gode savoure. ^ 

But I hasten to display the peculiar. powers of William de 



Parlieux y eut cleres fontaines, 
Sans barbelotes' & sans raines, 
Qui des arbres estoient umbres, 
Par moy ne vous seront nombrez, 
£t petit ruisseaulxy que Deduit 
A'^oit la trouves par conduit ; 
L'eaue alloit aval faisant 
Son melodieux et plaisant. 
Aux bortz des ruisseaulx et des rives 
Des fontaines cleres et vives 
F(Mgnoit Terbe dm et plaisant 
Grant soulas et plaisir faisant. 



Amy poroH avec sa mye 

Soy deporter ne'r doubtez mye.— 

Violette y fut moult belie 

Et aussi parvenche nouvelle ; 

Fleurs y eut blanches et vermeillesy 

Ou ne poun-oit trouver pardlles, 

De -toutes diverses couleurs, 

De haulx pris et de grans, valeurs. 

Si estoit soef flairans 

£t reflagrans et odorans. v. 1348. 

* conduits. ^ periwinkle. 

* V. 1411. 



* A species of insect often found in .stagnant water. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 



209 



Lorris in delineating allegorical personages; n<m^ oi which 
have suffered in Chaucer's translation. The poet supposes 
that the garden of Mirth, or rather Love, in which grew the 
Rose, the object of the lover's wishes and labours, was enclosed 
with embattled walls, richly painted with various figures, such 
as Hatred, Avarice, Envy, Sorrow, Old Age, and Hypocrisy. 
Sorrow is thus represented. 

SoRROWE was paintid next Envie* 

Upon that wal of masonrie. 

But wel was seen in her colour. 

That she had livid in languour ; 

Her seemid to have the jaundice. 

Not half so pale was Avarice, 

Ne nothing alike of lenenesse 

For sorowe, thought, and grete distresse. 

A s'rowfiil thing wel semid she ; 

Nor she had nothing slow ybe 

For to bescrachin of hir face. 

And for to rent in many place 

Hir clothes, and for to tere her swire**. 

As she that was iulfilled of ire: 

And al to torn lay eke hir here 

About hir shoulders, here and there; 

As she that had it all to rent 

For angre and for male talent^. 

Nor are the images of Hatred and Avarice inferior. 



* De les Envie etoit Trxstsssk 
Painte aussi et ffarnye d*angoisse. 
£t bien paroit a sa couleur 
QM'eUe avoit a cueur grant douleur : 
£t sembloit aYoir la jaunice, 
La n*y faisoH riens Avabick, 
Le palisseur ne de roaigresse 
Car le tnivdle et la destresse, &c 
Moult sembloit bien que fust dolente; 
Car el n*avoit pas este lente 

VOL. II. 



D*esgratignler toute sa chiere ; 

Sa robe ne luy estoit chiere 

En mains lieux Tavoit dessir^, 

Comme culle qui fut yr^e. 

Ses cheveulx d^rompus estoient, 

Qu*autour de son col pendoient, ' 

Presque les avoit tous desroux 

De maltalent et de corroux. v. 300. 



neck. 



*v. 300. 



»- 
/ 



210 Trtfi Hi$TpBV OB" 

Amiddis Sawt6 I HAtfi ystcmde,'*-^ 
And dhe was notliing wel araid^ 
But like h wdde wcMthan afraicte : 
Yfirowncid fotile was hir visage, 
And grinning for dii^iteous rage. 
Her nose ysnortid up for tene* 
Full hideous was she forti sehe^ 
Full foul and rustey was she this, 
Her hed iwrithin was iwis, 
Full grimly with a grete towaile, tec J 

The design of this work will not permit me to give the por- 
trait of Idleness, the portress of the garden of Mirth, and of 
Others, which form the groupe of dancers in the garden : but 
I cannot resist the pleasure of transcribing those of Beauty, 
Franchise, and Richesse, three cajHtal figures in this genial 
assembly. 

The God of love, jolife and light, f 
Ladde on his honde a ladi^ bright, 
Of high prise, and of gret degre. 
This ladie called was Beautie. 
And an arowe, of which I told, 
Full well y thewid ^ was she holde : 
Ne wa^ she darke ne browne, btit bright. 
And clere as is the mone light — 

' Au milieu de mur je vy Hai^me. Ainsi conmie une Aes cinqtle flesdiM 

Si n*estoit pas bien atoum^e, £n iUe aut toutes bonnes taiches : 

Ains sembloit estre forcepce Point ne fut obscur, ne brun, 

Rechiirnie estoit et fronc^ Mais tat clere comme.la lune.-^ • 

Avoit le nez et rebours^. Tendre eut la chair comme rous^. 

Moult hydeuse estoit et souilleS Simple fut comme une esppus^e. 

Et fut sa teste entortillee Et blanch comme fleur'He lis, 

Tres ordem^nt d*un touaille, Visage eut bel doulx et alis, 
Qjui moult estoit d*horrible taille. 143, Elle estoit gresle et align^e 

« ^^ r—'^*" T T K'cstoit farai^ ne pisnle, 

r rf^T ^^ •" Car eUe n'aroit p^ mestier 

• *^' De soy farder et affaictier. 

< Le Di6u d^amours si s'estoit pris Les cheveulx ent blohs et si \mifji 

A tiine dame de hault pris, Qu' ils batoient aux talons, v. 1004. 

Pres se tenoit de son cost^ ** Having good qu^lties. See tti|ir. 

Celle dame eut nom Bxaulte. v. 939. seq, 



BNOtrp^ POETRY. 



211 



Her fleshe v^ tcpdre as dewe of $our^ 

Her chere wi^ iiinqde as birde in boure : 

As white as ]j^ c^ rose in ri^^, 

Her &ce w^ gentU and tretise^ ; 

Fetis' she was, and smal to se, 

No wintrid" browis hedde she ; 

No popped" here, for't neded nought 

To windir** her or to peint ought 

I^ tresses yalowe and long strau^^tenP 

Unto her helis down the *'raughten.'' 

Nothing cap be more sumptuous and superb than the robe, 
and oth€|r ornaments, of Richesse, or Wealth, They are 
imagined with great strength of fancy. But it should be re- 
membered, that this was the age of magnificence and shew; 
when a provision of the most splendid and costly materials 
were lavished on dress, generally wi& little taste and pro- 
priety, but often with mudi art and invention. 

Richesse a robe of piurpre on had, * 
Ne trow not that I lie or madS 



* on the bush ; or, iit perfectioa ; 
-Of, a budding rose. [On the branch. 
Sax. hnis, virguUa. 

^ weU-prbportioned. 

^fetunu, handsome, [well-niad^ neat, 
J. J *" contracted. 

" affectedly dressed. Properly, dress- 
.ed up like tL puppet. 

° to trim ; to adorn. 

' stretched ; spread abroad. 

^ reached. 

't. 1003. 
* De pourpre fut le vestement 

A RxcHfssB, si noblement, 

Qju'en tout le monde n'eust plus bel, 

Mieulx fait, ne aussi plus nouvel : 

Pourtraictes y furent d'orfroys 

Hystoryes d*empereurs et roys. 

JSt encores y avoit-il 

Utt ouviBge ijioble et sobtil ; 

A noyaulx d*or au col fermoit, 

iEt a bendes d'azur tenoit ; 

l^oblcsnent eut le chief pard 

Pe riches pierres decor^ 



Qui gettoient moult grant clartd, 
Tout y estoit bien assorte. 
Puis eut une rlcbe sainture . 
Sainte par dessus sa vesture : 
Le boucle d*une pierre fu, 
Grosse et de moult grant vertu 
Celluy qui sur soy le protoit 
Pe tons venins garde estoit— 
D'autre pierre fut le mordana 
Qui guerissoit du mal des dens. 
Cest pierre portoit bon cur. 
Qui Tavoit pouToit estre asseur 
De sa sant^ et de sa vei. 
Quant k jeun il Tavoit vei ; 
Les cloux furent d*or epur^. 
Par dessus le tissu dor^, 
Qui estoient grans et pesans, 
£n chascun avoit deux besans. 
Si eut avecques a Richesse 
Uns cadre d'or mis sur la tresse, 
^ riche, si plaisant, et ai bel, 
Qu'onques on ne veit le pareil : 
Pe pierres estmt fort gamy, - 
Predeuses et aplany. 



P 2 



212 THE HISTORY OF 

For in this world is none it liche", 
Ne by a thousand dele^ so riche, 
Ne none so faire : For it fiill wele 
With orfraies* laid was everie dele, 
And^purtraied in the ribaninges ^ 
Of dukis stories and of kinges ; 
And with a bend* of gold tassiled, 
And knoppis* fine of gold amiled^. 

Qui bien en vouldroit deviser, LemnovUicumf in Dugdale's Mok. iii* 

On ne les pouvroit pas priser Sia SIS. S31. And in Wlkins's CoK- 

Rubis, y e\it saphirs, jagonces, cil. i. 666. \rhere two cabinets for the 

Esmerandes plus de cent onces : host are ordered, one of silver or of 
Mais devant eut par grant maistrise, ivory, and the other de opere Lemovi-' 

Un escarboucle bien assise cino» Stnod. Wigorn. A.D. 1240. And 

£t le pierre si clere estoit in many other places. I find it called 

Que cil qui devant la mettoit lAmaise, in a metrical romance, the nan^ 

Si en povoit veoir au besoing of which I have forgot, where a tomb is 

A soy conduire une lieue loing, described. 
Telle cUrtd si en yssoit ^„>, ^^ n„^„. 

Que Kichesse en respUndi^it All Mith gold* and tfmoi«. 

Far txmt le corps et par sa face ^ 

Aussi d'autour d'elle la place, v. 1066. Carpentier [V. Likooia.] observes, that 

* <* that I lie, or am mad." " like, it was antiently a common ornament of 
** parts [a thousandth part]. sumptuous tombs. He cites a Testa- 

* embroidery in gold. ment of the year 1327, " Je lais huU cent 
y laces laid on rcS>es ; embroideries. liores pour faire deux tomJbet hautet et le- 

* 6anef; knott. ^ knobbs ; buttons. vSet de PEvykk de huaoQEs.** The ori- 
^ enameled ;•— enameling, and perhaps ginal tomb of Walter de Merton, bishop 

picCufes in enamel, were common in of Rochester, erected in his cathedral 

the middle ages. From the Testament about the year 1276, was made at Li- 

of Job. de Foxle, knight, Dat. apud moges. Tliis appears from the accompts 

Brsmshill Co. Southampt. Nov. 5. 1378. of his executors, viz. ** Et computant 

" Item lego domino abbati de Waltham xll. vs. vid. liberate Magistro Johanni 

unum annulum auri grossi, cum una sa- Linnomcensi, pro tumba dicti Episcopt 

Sthiro infixa, et nominibus tritim regum Roffensis, scil. pro Constructione et car- 
of Cologne] sculptis in eodem annulo. riagio de Lymoges ad Roffam. Et zl t. 
tern lego Margarite sorori mee unam viii d. cuidam Executor! apud Lymoges 
tabulam argenti deaurati et amelitamf ad ordinandum et providendum Con- 
minorem de duabus quas habeo, cum structionem dictss Tumba?. Et zs. 
diversis ymaginibus sculptis in eadem.— viii d. cuidam garcioni eunti apud Ly- 
Item lego Margerie uxori Johannis de moges quserenti dictam tumbam con- 
Wilton unum monile auri, cum S. litera structam, et ducenti earn cum dicto 
tculpta et ame/i^a in eodem.** Reffistr. Mag. Johanne usque Roffam. Etzxiil. 
Wykeham, Episc. Winton. P. ii. fm.24. in materialibus circa dictam tumbam 
See also Dusd. Bar. i. 234. a. defricandam. Et vii marcas, in ferra^ 
[Amileo is fh)ra the French Email, . mento ejusdem, et carriagio a Londin. 
or Ekambl. This art flourished most usque ad Roff. et aliis parandis ad die- 
at Umoges in France. So early as the tam tumbam. Et xi s. cuidam vitriario 
year 1 1<97, we have ** Duas tabulas seneas pro vitris fenestrarum emptarum juxta 
BVip&WiTBita& de labore LimoguB.** Chart, tumbam dicti Episcopi apud Ronam.** 
ann. 1197. ftpud Ughelin. torn. vii. Ant.Wood*sMS.MBBTOK Papers, Bibl. 
Itai.. Sack, p, 1274. It is called 0/m« Bodl. Cod. Ballard. 46.— Additioxi.] 



ENGLISH POETRY. 213 

About her neck, of gentle' entaile^, 
Was set the riche chevesaile** ; 
In which ther was M grete plente 
Of stonis clere and faire to se. 
RiCHESE a girdle had upon 
The bokill* of it was of ston 
Of vertu grete and mokill^ might, 
For who so bare the ston so bright 
Of venim durst him nothing doubt 
While he the ston had him about. — 
The mordaunt^ wrought in noble guise 
Was of a ston fill precious, 
That was so fin and vertuous 
That whole a man it couth ymake 
Of palsie, and of the tothe ake : 
And yet the ston had soche a grace 
That he was sikre^ in ewrie {dace 
All thilke daie not blinde to bene 
That fasting might that ston sene. 
The barris* were of gold full fine 
Upon a tissue of sattin. 
Full hevie, grete, and nothing light, 
'Tn everiche was a besaunt wight*. 
Upon the tressis of Richesse 
Was sett a circle of noblesse. 
Of brende' gold, that fiill light yshone, 
So faire, trowe I, was nevir none. 

* Of good woikmanship, or carving. For which were delivered, " cccbarrsar- 
From IntagUare. Ital. genti.*' An. 21. Edw. IlL~^[Clavus in 

' necklace. Latin, from whence the Fr. dour is de- 

* buckle. rived, seems to have signified not ovlj 
' muckel J great. an outward border, but also what we cali 

* tongue of a buckle. Mordeo. Lat. a stripe. Montfaucon, t. iii. P. i. ch. vL 
^ certain. A bar in heraldry is a narrow stripe or 

* I cannot give the precise meaning of fascia.— Tarwam.] 

Barris, nor mChux in the French. It ^ « the weight of a besant." A by- 

seems to be part of a buckle. In the sant was a species of gold-coin, stamped 

wardr(4>e-roll, quoted above, are men- at Byxantkun. A wedge of gold, 

tioned, " One hundred garters cum bou" * burnished. 

cki, barris, ei pendentUnts de argento,** ^ 



il^ THE HISTORY OF 

I 

But he were konning for the nones'* 

That could devisab all the stones, 

That ui the circle shewm dere. 

It Is a wonder thing to here : 

For no man could or preis% or gesse, 

OPhem the value or richesse : 

Rubies ther were, saphirs, ragounces®. 

And emeraudes more than two/ounces : 

But all before full subtiUy 

A fine carboncle set sawe I : 

The stone so clere was and so bright, 

That al so sone as it was night, 

"* *' well-skilled in these things.*' loutier mentions a Latin pdem of the 

^ ajijvraise, value. eleventh century on F^:edous Stones, 

** The gem called a JaeintA. We should written by Marbode bishop of Rennes 

read, in Chaucer's text, «7agonc^« instead [who died in the year 1128], and soon 

of BagounceSf a word which never ex- afterwards translated into French verse, 

isted ; and which Speght, who never con- Mem. Lang. Celt, part i. vol. i. ch. xiii. 

suited the French Roman de la Rose, in- p. 26. The translation biegins, 
terprets merely from the sense of the Evax ftit un mult riche reis 

context, to be "A kind oT precious Lu reigne tint d'Arabeis. 

stone." Gloss. Ch. in V. I^know- i^ ^^^ printed in Okuvres de HUdebert 

tidf if r^u^rpL"^^^ f ^vr.f«"^??" ^t^^^^:^- 

uvic tu. uic iwi,uia» ^«uav^p ijf w* un. j^^ ^j^ 1638. This Hwy bc rcckoued 

T!,i"f ^ ""^^^ ""^^ ^^"1: one of the oldest pieces rf^Rench verei. 
alluded to above, was a doctnne much i.^^- „ a ,».,i,,«^..^n* n* ^^^^hm.^ 
inculcated by £e Arabian naturab'ste. ^^^^ ^ manusmpt De ^ea^ 
Au y r !-^- -T™: Lapidunh occurs twice m the Bodleian 
Chaucer refers to a treatise on gems, ,j^ ^^^^ attributed to oneAAm 
called the LAriBAav, famous in that ^^^J^ ^. gg. f. 169.-Cod. 
4ime. House of Fame, h.n.y.2€0: i^ud. C.S. ZVinc." Evax rex Arabum 
And thei were sett as thicke of ouchis legitur scripsisse*" But it is, I think, 
Fine, of the finist stonis faire Marbode's book above mentioned. Evax 
That men redin in the Lamdaiee. jg ^ fabulous Arabian Wng^ said to have 
Montfaucon, m the royal library at Fa- written On this subject. Of this Mar- 
ris, recites, '* Le LaMdaibe, de la vertu bode, or Marbodaeus, see OI< Borridi. 
des pierres." Catal. MSS. p. 794. This Diss. Acad, de PoeL pag. 87. § 78. 
I take to be the bodk here referred to edit. Franeof. 1688. 4bK His poem was 
by Chaucer. Hertry of Huntingdon published, with notes, by Lompri^tls 
wrote a book De Gemmia. He flourished Alardus. The eastern wrHers pretend, 
«bout 1145. Taim. BibL p* S95. See a that king Solomon, among a Variety of 
Greek Treatise, Du Cange, Gloss. Gr. physiological pieces, wrote a book on 
Barb. ii. Ind. Auctor. p. 37. coL 1. In Gems : one chapter of which treated of 
the Cotton library is a Saxon Treatise On those precious stones, which resist or re- 
precious stones. TiBxa. A« 3. liii. fol.98b pel evil Genii. They su|qpose that Ari- 
The iKTiting is more antient than the stotle stole all his philosophy from Solo- 
Conquest. See vol. i. p. 11. [The mon*s books. See Fabric Bibl. Gr. xUu 
treatise referred to contains a meagre ex- 387. seq. And i. p. 71. Compaine Her- 
planation of the twelve precious stones belot, BibL Oriental, p. 962. b. Artie 
mentioned in the Apocalypse. ] Pel- Keta9 utahsjif^r leq. 



£NG}.I8U POfiTftV. 



815 



Men mightp (s^ to go for nede, 
A mile or two, in length or brede ; 
Soche light yiprang out of the stone, 
That RicHESSE woncUr bright yshone 
Both on her hedde an4 all hir &ce 
And eke about her all the place. ^ 

The attributes of the portrait of Mirth are very expressive. 

Of berde unnethe had he nothing,** 

For it was in the firste spring : 

Ful young he was and merie* of thought. 

And in samette"* with hirdis wrought, 

And with golde bete ful fetously. 

His bodie was clad full richely ; 

Wrought was his robe in straunge gise. 

And all to slittered* for queintise. 

In many a place lowe and hie, 

And shod be was, with grete maistrie, 

With shone decopid^ and with lace, 

By drurie" and eke by ^solace ; 

His lefe^ a rosin duqpelet 

Had made and on his hedde it set ^ 

Franchise is a no less attractive portrait, and sketched 
with equal grace and delicacy* 



» T. 1071. 

^ £t si n'avoit barbe ^ iQenton 
Si non petit poil foilaton ; 
II etoit jeune damoyfnnlx ; 
Son baiUdrier fut portrait d*oisq«ulx 
Qui tout etoit e or batU) 
Tres richemcnt estoit v^tu 
D*un' robe mouk desgys^e, 
Qjui fut en maint lieu iacisee, 
£t decoupjpee par quointisv^ 
£t f u^ chau8S(^ par mignotise 
D*un sooliers decoupp^ a las 
Far joyeusete ok soulas, 
Et sa neye luy fist chai^eau 
Dc roses gr^ieux ct beau. v. 832. 



' samite ; sattin : explained above* 

' cut and slashed. 

* cut or marked with figures. F^om 
dccou})er, Fr. to cut* Thus the parish 
clerk Absolon, in the Miller* s Tate, t. 
210. p. 26. Urr. 

•With Poulis windowcs carvcn on bis 
shose. 

I suppose Pimlis windowi was a ctMl 
phrase for a fine device or ornament. 

■ modesty, [courtship, gallantry. T.] 

^ mistress. 

' V, 833. 



216 THE HISTORY OF 

And next him daunsid dame Franchise, ^ 

Arayid in fid noble guise. 

She n'as not broune ne dunne of hewe, 

But white as snowe ifallin newe, 

Her nose was wrought at point devise *, 

For it was gentill and tretise ; 

With eyin glad and browis bent, 

Her hare down to her helis went* : 

Simple she was as dove on tre, 

Ful debonaire of hart was she.** 

The personage of Danger is of a bolder cast, and may 
serve as a contrast to some of the preceding. He is supposed 
suddenly to start fi*om an ambuscade ; and to prevent Bialcoil, 
or Kind Reception^ from permitting the lover to gather the 
rose of beauty. 

With that anon out start Dangers ^, 
Out of the place where he was hidde ; 
His malice in his chere was kidde** ; 
Full grete he was, and blacke of hewe, 
Sturdie and hideous whoso him knewe ; 
Like sharpe urchons* his heere was grow. 
His eyes red sparcling as fire glow, 

^ Apres tous ceulx estoit Frakchisev translates, *' Her eyin graie.*'T.863. The 

Qui ne fut ne bnine ne bise ; same word occurs in the French text b^ 

Ains fut comme la neige blanche fore us, v. 1195. Tliis comparison was 

Courtoise estoit, joyeuse et franche, natural and beautiful, as drawn from a 

Le nez avoit long et tretis very familiar and fiivourite object in the 

Yeulx vers rins, soureils saitis, age of the poet. Perhaps Chaucer means 

Les cheveulx eut tres-blons et longs, " grey as a falcon'tf'eyes.** 

Simple feut comme les coulons. ° v. 1211. 

Le cueur eut doulx et debonnaire. ^ A tant saillit villain Danokrb, 

V. 1 190. De li on il estoit mued ; 

* with the utmost exactness. Grant fut, noir et tout hericd 

* All the females of this poem have S'ot, les yeulx rouges comme feux, 
grey eyes and yellow hair. One of them Le vis froncd, le nez hydeux 

IS said to have " Her eyen graie as is a Kt scerie tout forcenez. ▼. 2959. 

faucon. ** V. 546. Where the original ^ " was discovered by his behaviour, 

word, translated graki is vers. v. 546. or countenance.'* Perhaps we should 

We have this colour again, Orig. v. 822. read cheke,' for chere, \ 

** Les yeulx eut wr*.'* ITiis too Chaucer • urchins j hcdge^hogs. 



ENGLISH POET It V. 217 

His nose frouncid*^ fall kirkid* stoode, 
He come criande ^ as he were woode. ^ 

Chaucer has enriched this figure, llie circumstance of 
Danger's hair standing erect like the prickles on the urchin 
or hedge-hog, is his own, and finely imagined. 

Hitherto specimens have been given fi*om that part of this 
poem which was wiitten by William de Lorris, its first in- 
ventor. Here Chaucer was in his own walk^ One of the 
most striking pictures in the style of allegorical personification, 
which occurs in Chaucer's translation of the additional part, 
is much heightened by Chaucer, and indeed owes all its merit 
to the translator ; whose genius was much better adapted to 
this species of painting than that of John of Meun, the con- 
tinuator of the poem. 

With her, Labour and eke Travaile*, 

Lodgid bene, with sorowe and wo. 

That nevir out of her court go. 

Pain and Distresse, Sicknesse and Ire, 

And Melanc'ly that angry sire, 

Ben of her palais * senators ; 

Groning and Grutching her herbegeors" ; 

The day and night her to tourment. 

With cruill deth thei her present. 

And tellin her erliche " and late, 

That Deth stondith armid at her gate.' 

Then bring they to reinembraunce, 

The foly dedes of hir enfance^. 

The fiction that Sickness, Melancholy, and other beings of 

' contracted. Adonc luy vient en remembrannce, 

* crooked ; turned upwards. En cest tardifve presence, 

^ ** crying as if he was mad.** Quant et se voit foible et chenue. 

* ▼. 3180. r. 4733. 
^ Travaile et douleur la hebergent, ' palace. 

lifais ill le lient et la chargent, ' " chamberlains, [providers of lodg- 

Que tnort prochaine luy presentent, ings, harbingers. T.] 
Et talent de seq repentir ; " early. 

Tant luy sont de fleaux sentir ; * ▼. 4994. 



£tS tUS HJgTORV OF 

the like sort, were counsellors in £he palace of Old Age, and 
employed in telling her day and night, that ^^ Death stood 
armed at her gate," was far beyond the sentimental and sati- 
rical vein of John of Memi, and is conceived with great vigour 
of imagination. 

Chaucer appears to have been early struck with this French 
poem* In his Dbeme, written long before he begun this 
translation, he supposes, that the chamber in which he slept 
was richly painted with the story of the Romaunt of the 
Rose I'* It is natural to imagine, that such a poem must have 
been a favourite with Chaucer. No poet, before William of 
Lorris, either Italian or French, had delineated allegorical 
personages in so distinct and enlarged a style, and with such 
a fullness of characteristical attributes : nor had descriptive 
poetry selected such a variety of circumstances, and disclosed 
such an exuberance of embellishment, in fonning agreeable 
representations of nature. On this account, we are surprised 
that Boileau should mention Villon as the first poet of France 
who drew form and order from the chaos of the old French 
romancers. 

Villon s^eut le Premier, dans ces siecles grossiers 
Debrouilier Fart confus de nos vieux bomancjers. ** 

But the poetry of William erf Lorris was not the poetry of 
Boileau. 

That this poem should not please Boilemi, I can easily con- 
ceive. It is more surprising that it should have been censured 
as a contemptible performance by Petrarch, who lived in the 
age of fancy. Petrarch having desired his friend Guy de Gon- 
zague to send him some new piece, he sent him the Roman 
DE LA Rose* With the poem, instead of an enccnnium, he 
returned a severe criticism; in which he treats it as a ccJd, 
inartificial, and extravagant composition: as a proof, how 

** V. 322. Chauper alludes to this poem ^ Art. Poet. ch. i. He died about 
in The Marc»aukt*s Tale, v. 1548. the year 1456. 
p. 72. Um 



ENGLISH POETRY. tli> 

much France, who valued this poem as her chief work, was 
surpassed by Italy in eloquence and the arts of writing'. In 
this opinion we must attribute something to jealousy. But the 
truth is, Petrarch's geniut was too culttrated to relish these 
wild excursions of imagination : his &vorite classics, whom he 
revived, and studied with so much attention, ran in his head. 
Especially Ovid's Art of Love, a poem of another specie% 
and evidently formed on another plan; but which Petrarch 
had been taught to venerate, as the model and criterion of a 
didactic poem on die passion of love reduced to a system. We 
may add, that although the poem before us was founded on the 
visionary doctrines and refinements concerning love invented 
by the Provencial poets, and consequendy less unlikdy to be 
favourably received by Petrarch, yet his ideas on that delicate 
subject were much more Platonic and metaphysical. 

' See Fetnurch* Cann. L. i. £p. SO. 



220 TUJB HISTORY OF 



SECTION XIV. 



i^HAUCER's poem of Troilus and Cresseide is said to 
be formed on an old history, written by LoUius, a native of 
Urbino in Italy*. Lydgate says that Chaucer, in this poem. 



made a translacion 



Of a boke which called is Trophe 
In Lumbarde tongue, &c.^ 

It is certain that Chaucer, in this piece, frequently refers to 
*^ Myne auctor Lollius ^•" But he hints, at the same time, 
that Lollius wrote in Latin ^. I have never seen this history, 
either in the Lombard or the Latin language. I have before 
observed, that it is mentioned in Boccacio's Decameron, and 
that a translation of it was made into Greek verse by some of 
the Greek fugitives in the fourteenth century. Du Fresne, if 
I mistake not, somewhere mentions it in Italian. In the royal 
library at Paris it occurs often as an antient French rcnnance. 
« Cod. 7546. Roman de Troilus."—" Cod. 7564. Roman de 
Troilus et de Briseida ou Criseida." — Again, as an original 
work of Boccacio. " Cod. 7757. Philostrato dell' amorose 

* Petnis Lambeccius enumerates Lol- some Italian original is, that in a mann- 

lius Urbicus among the Historici Latmi script which I luive seen of this poem, I 

jtrofani of the third centmry. Prodrom. fin^ Monesteo for MenetteSf Rupheo for 

p. 246. Hamb. 1659. See also Voss. Rujihes, PhebuieoforPhdnuestm.ir.SO> 

Historic. Latin. iL 2. p. 16S. edit.Lugd. seq. Where, by the way, Xantippe, a 

Bat. But this could not be Chaucer*s Trojan chief, was perhi^ corruptly writ- 

Lollius. Chaucer places Lollius among ten for Xantippo, L e. Xantijmus. As 

the historians of Troy, in his House of Joseph. Iscan. iv. 10. In Lydgate's 

Faroe, iii. S80. It is extraordinary, that TVoy, ZarU^yhut, iiL 26. All corrupted 

Du Fresne, in the Index Auctorumt used from Antiphus, Diet. Cret p. 105. In 

by him for his Latin glossary, should the printed copies we have A^ippho tor 

mention this Lollius Uibicus c^the third Ascalaphus. lfl>. t. S19. 
century. Tom. i. p. 141. edit. L As I ^ Prol. Boch. st. iii. 
apprehend, none of his works remain. ^ See Ub. i. t. S95* 
A proof that Chaucer translated from. ^ Lib. ii. t. 10. 



ENGLISH PaETRY. 221 

fatiche de TroUo per Giovanni Boccacio*." " Les suivans 
(adds Montfimcon^) contieiiiient les auires oewcres de Boccace.'' 
Much &,bulous history c(mceming TroHus, is related in Guido 
de Columna's Destruction of Troy. Whatever were Chaucer's 
materials, he' has on this subject constructed a poem of consi- 
derable merit, in which the vicissitudes of love are depicted in 
a strain of true poetry, with much pathos and simplicity of 
sentiments He calls it, **a litill tragedie'." Troilus is sup- 
posed to have seen Cresside in a temple ; and retiring to his 
chamber, is thus naturally described, in the critical situation of 
a lover examining his own mind after the first impression of love. 

* [Boccacio*s Filostrato was printed member, that the Italian language was 

Sn quarto at Milan, in 1488. The title called Latino volgare. Shall we suppose, 

is, *' n Ftolostrato, che tracta de lo that Chaucer followed a more complete 

innamoramento deXaoiLoa Gktseida: copy of the Filostkato than that we 

et de molte altre infinite battaglie. Im» have at present, or one enlarged by some 

presso nella inclita cita de Milano par officious interpolater? The Paiisian ma- 

magistro Uldcrlcho Scinsenzeler nell nuscript might perhaps dear these diffi- 

anno icccccLxxxxYtii. a di xxvii di mese culties. In Bennet library at Cambridge, 

Septembre. ** It is in the octave stanza, there is a manuscript of Chaucer's Taoi- 

The editor of the Canterbury Tales lus, elegantly written, with a frontis- 

informs me, that Boccacio himself, in piece beautifully illuminated, lxi.— 

his DxcAMBROK, hos made the same ho- ,Additioks.] 

Douiable mendon of this poem as of the ^ Bibl. p. 793. col. 3. Compare Lengl. 

Thbssida : although without acknow- Bibl. Rom. ii. p. 253. 

ledging either for his own. In the In- * Chaucer however claims no merit 

troouction to the Sixth Day, he says, of invention in this poem. He invokes 

that " Dioneo insieme con Lauretta Clio to favour him with rhymes only ; 

de Troile et di Criseida comindarono and adds, 

cantare." Just as, afterwards, in the ^^ . « t * 

conclusion of the Seventh Day, he says, ZT; ^o evene lover I me excuse 

that the same " Dioneo et Fiametta gin ^hat of no ser^ment I this end^te 

peiri canfarono insieme d» Arcita n di ^^^ '"^ 'f^^ »» "^^ '^^ «^ «^^- 

Falamone." See Canterb..T. vol. iv. L. ii. v. 10. seq. But Sir Francis Ki- 

p. 85. iii. p. 311. Chau4;er appears to naston who translated Troilus and C res- 

have been as much indebted to Boccacio seidb [1635.^ into Latin rhymes, says, 

in his Troilus and Cresseide, as in his that Chaucer in this poem ** has taken the 

Kniohtes Tale. At the same time we liberty of his own inventions.'* In the 

must observe, that there are several long mean time, Chaucer, by his own refe- 

passages, and even episodes, in Troilus, rences, seems to have been studious of 

of which no traces appear in the Filos- seldom departing from Lollius. In one 

TRATO. Chaucer s^>eaks of himself as a place, he pays him a compliment, as an 

translator out oflxUinf B* ii. 14. And author whose excellencies he could not 

he calls his aumor Lollius, B. i. 394-— reach. L. iii. v. 1330. 

421. and B.t. 1652. ^e Utter of these g ^^^ . ^ ^ j ^ „^j ^^ ^ 

tt-o passages IS in die Philosteaio: but As can min^ author e^te ««dfen«. 

the former, contauung Petrarch s son- •^ 

net, is not And when Chaucer says, See also L. iii. 576.. 1823. 

bt trondates Jrom Latin, we m\tst re- ' L. ult. v. 1785. 



222 TH19 Hi&voRy or 

j/Uid whan that be in dbarafaoce was skmef 
He down iqpon his beddis £ete hfan sette» 
And first he gm to sike^, and efte to grone, 
Andtboii^taiecm her so withourin iette ; 
^at as he sotte and woke^ his spirit mette** 
That he her sai;^h, and ten^Ie, and all the wiae^ 
Ri^ of her loke^ and gan it newe avise.^^ 

There is not so much nature in the sonnet to Love, which 
follows. It is translated from Petrarch; and had Chaucer 
followed his own genius, he would not have disgusted us widi 
the a£fected gallantry and exaggerated compliments which it 
extakis through five tedious stanzas. The doubts and delic&- 
des of a young girl disclosing her heart to her lover. Are ex- 
quisitely touched in this comparison. 

And as the newe abashid ni^tingale 
That stintith"^ first, when she beginith sing, 
Wh«i that she herith any herdis" tale, 
Or in the hedgis anie wight stirring, 
And after sikir** doth her voice outring; 
Right so Cresseide when that her drede stents* 
Opened her herte and told him her intent^ 

The following pathetic scene may be selected from many 
others. Troilus seeing Cresside in a swoon, imagines her to 
be dead. He unsheaths his sword witii an intent to kill him- 
self and utters tiiese exclamations. 

And thou, cite, in which I live in wo, 
And thou Priam, and brethren al ifere% 
And thou, my mother, farwel, for I go : 
And, Atropos, make ready thou my bare : 
And thou Creseide, O sweet herte dere. 
Receive thou now my spirit, would he say. 
With swerd at hert all redy for to dey. 

* Bgh. ^thought, imagined. ® with confidence. 

^ manner. ^ 1. i. v. S59. ^ her fears ceased. 

™ stops. ** hej^rmttfif a sh^erd. *> K iiL v. 1239. ' togetben 



But as god W0M9 of swoii^^ die tfio abrakbS 

And gan to sighe, and Tfton^uB vhe cride: 

And he attswmd, Ladj mine C^^seide^ 

Livin ye yet? And let his sward doune glide, / 

Yes, hertS mine^ that thankid be Cupid^ 

Quoth she : and therwithall she sorS sight ^ 

And he began to glad her as he might. 

Toke her in armis two, and kist her ofl. 
And her to glad he did all his entent : 
For if(4dch her g^ost, that flickered aie alofte 
Into her woefull breast aien it went : 
But at the last, as that her eyin glent^ 
Adde, anon she gan his swerde aspie. 
As it lay b^*e, and gan for fere to crie : 

And askid him why he had it outdrawe ? 

And Troilus anon the cause hir tolde, 

And how therwith himself he would have slawe: 

For which Creseide upon him gan behold, . 

And gan him in her armis fast to fold; 

And said, O mercy, God, \o whiche a dede 

Alas ! how nere we werin both^ dede 1 ^ 

i'athetic description is one of Chaucer^s peculiar excel- 
lencies. 

In this poem are various imitations from Ovid, which me of 
too particular and minute a nature to be pointed out here, and 
belong to the province of a professed and formal commentator 
on the piece. The Platonic notion in the third book ^ about 
universal love, and the doctrine that this principle acts with 
equal and uniform influence both in the natural and moral 
world, are a translation from Boetiiius ^. And in the Knight's 

* fwoon. *■ then awaked. lii. Met 2. Spenser is fuU of the same 

* sighed. ^ glanoed. doctrine. See Fairy Queen, i. ix. 1. iv. 

* 1. iv. T. 1905. s. 34, 35, &c. &c. I could point out 
y V. 1750. many other inutations from Boethius in 

* Consolat Philosoph. L, ii. Met. ult. this poem. 



224< tHE HISTO^RY OF 

Tale he mentions, from the same &yorite system of philosophy, 
the Faire Chaine of Love^. It is worth observing, that the 
reader is referred to Dares Phrygius, instead of H(»ner, for a 
display of the atchievements of Troilus. 

His worthi dedis who so list him here, 
Rede Dares, he can tel hem all ifere.* 

Our author, from his excessive fondness for Statins, has been 
guilty of a very diverting and what may be called a double 
anachronism. He represents Cresside, with two of her female 
companions, sitting in a pavid parlour, and reading the Thebaid 
of Statins**, which is called the Geste of the Siege of Thebes^ ^ 
and the Romance of Thebis^, In another place, Cassandra 
translates the Arguments of the twelve books of the Thebaid *. 
In the fourth book of tliis poem, Pandarus endeavours to com- 
fort Troilus with arguments concerning the doctrine of prede- 
stination, taken from Bradwardine, a learned archbishop and 
theologist, and nearly Chaucer's cotemporary ^. 

This poem, although almost as long as the Eneid, was in- 
tended to be sung to the harp, as well as read. 

And redde where so thou be, or ellis songe^. 

It k dedicated to the morall Gower, Mid to the philosophical 
Strode. Gower will occur as a poet hereafter. Strode was 

' ▼. 2990. Urr. often dted by Du Cange and Carpen- 

* L. iv. V. 1770. tier. Gl. Lat This is Partbenopeus, a 

*» L. ii. V. 81. * L. ii. v. 84. hero of the Theban story, ft was trans* 

^ L. ii. V. 100. Bishop Amphiorax is lated into English, and called Peeto- 

mentioued, ib. t. 104. Pandarus says nape. See vol. i. p. 126. 

V. 106 : [The romance of Fartonepex de Bloi% 

AU this I know mv selve ^'*®^ ^^ ^" ^""8^ ^** "** connexion 

In his DremCi Chaucer to pass, the night to Troilus. L. iii. t. 1048. Troilus, du- 

away, rather dian play at chess, calls for ring the times of truce, amuses himself 

a Romaunce; in which "were writtin wi£ hawking. L. iii. ▼. 1785. 

fables of quenis livis and of kings,^ and ' In hisbook Dv causa Dek, published 

many othir thingis smale.*' This proves by Sir Henry Savile, 1617. lie touches 

to fa« Ovid. V. 52. seq. See Man. ef on this controversy, Nonne*s Pr. T. v. 

L. T. V. 54. Urr. There was an old 1S49. Urr. See also Tr. Cr. L. iv. v. 

French Romance called PartonepeX; 961. seq. ' L. ult. v. 1796. 



EXGLTSH POETRY. 225 

eminent for his scholastic knowledge, and tutor to Chaucer's 
son Lewis at Merton college in Oxford. 

Whether the House of Fame is Chaucer's invention, or 
suggested by any French or Italian poet, I cannot determine. 
But I am apt to think it was originally a Provencial composi- 
tion, — among other proofs, from this passage : 

I 

And. ther came out so gret a noise. 
That had it standin upon Oyse, 
• Men might have herd it esily, 
I trow, to Rome sikerly. ^ 

The Oyse is a river in Picardy, which falls into the river Seine, 
not many leagues from Paris. An Englishman would not have 
expressed distance by such an unfamiliar illustration. Unless 
we reconcile the matter, by supposing that Chaucer wrote this 
poem during his travels. There is another passage where the 
^ideas are those of a foreign romance. To the trumpeters of 
renown the poet adds, 

All diat usid clarion 

In Casteloigne or Arragon. * 

Casteloigne is Catalonia in Spain''. The martial musicians of 
English tournaments, so celebrated in story, were a more na- 
tural and obvious allusion for an English poet *. 

This poem contains great strokes of Gothic iniagination, yet 
bordering often on the most ideal and capricious extravagance. 
The poet, in a virion, sees a telnple of glass, 

In which were more images 

Of gold stondinge in sund&ie stages, 

* 

^ L. ii. Y. 838. [See infra Sect, xviii. But he says, that the Galaxy is called 

Note f , from the Additioiis.] Wattyng-ftrete. B. ii. v. 431. He swears 

1 B. iiL T. 157. by Thomas Becket, B. iii. v. 41. In 

^ See Makchavvt's Tale, ▼» 1281* ' one place he is addressed by the name of 

p. 70. Urr. He mentions a rock higher Geoffret. B. ii. v. 221. But in two 

than any in Spain. B. iii. v. 27. Birt others by that of Pxtjib. B. ii. v. 526. 

4bis I brieve was an English proverb. B. iii* y. 909. Among the musicians, 

1 He mentions a plate of gold, *< As h^ mentions *' Pipirs of all the Du(;h« 

^t»duchettm Vemse.'* B. iii. t. 258, long.*' B. iiL t. 144. . 

voi^n. g 



MB 



THE- HISTORY OB 



Sette )ii more riche tabernacles. 
And with perre™ more pinnacles. 
And more curious pourtraituris. 
And quaint manir of figuris. 
Of golde work than I sawe evir.* 

On the walls of this temple were engraved stories from VirgiTs 
Eneid^, and Ovid's Epistles p. Leaving this temple,^ he sees 
an eagle with golden wings soaring near the smu. 

Faste by the sonne on hie, 



As kennyng myght I with mine eiej, 
Methougbt I sawe an egle sore ; 
But th^f it semid mochil more*>, 

Then I had any egle sene"^.' 

It was af gold, and shone so bright, 

That nevir man sawe suche a sight, &a* ' 

The eagle descends, seizes the poet in his talons, and mountiuj^ 
again, conveys him to the House of Fame ; which is situated, 
like that of Ovid, between eai^th and seai^ In their passage 
thither, they fly above the stars; which our author leaves,, 
with clouds, tempests, hail, and snow, far beneath him. This^ 
aerial journey is partly copied from Ovid's Phaeton in the cha- 
riot of the sun. But the poet apologises for this extravagant 



m 



jewels., " B. i. v.. 120. of the poets and romance-writers of the 

° Where he mentions Virgil' s hell, he middle ages^ that OiridNi stories adomad 

likewise refers to Claudian De RajUu the walls. In one of the courts of the~. 

J*roserjmu8, and Dante's iWer'no. v. 450. palace of Nonesuch, all Ovid*s Met$-' 

There is a translation of a iQvr lines from morphoses were cut in stone under the* 

Oante, whom he calls << tlie wise poet of windows. Heame^ Coll. MSS.55. p.64.^ 

Morence,** in the WiF£ OF Bath's Tale, But the Epistles seem to have been 

▼, 1125. p. 84. Urr. The story of Hu- the favorite work, the subject of which 

golinofPisa, a subject which Sir Joshua coincided with the gallantry of the- 



' Bhynolda has lately painted in a capital 
style^ is translated £rom Dante, *' the 
^nete peeteof Italie that bight Dante," 
in the MoNKEs Talk, v. 877. A sen- 
tence from Dante is cited^in the Le- 
OBK9B or GoaD'WoJSXSf.%* 360. In the 



times. 

*• greater.. 

' The easle says to the poetyibat this^ 
house statist ' 



*' Right so as thiiiejwne boke tellith. 



>t 



F»BXRB*«JrALB,. Dante is compared with B. ii. ▼. 204^ That is, Grid's Metamur-^ 
Yii^l, T. 256. phoies. See Met. £r. xii. t« 40,.&c.. 

'• It was not only in thA fiury. palaces- . * B. i. v.. 4%S. seq.. . 



ENGLISH POETRY. 227 

fixation, and explains his meaning, by alledging the authority 
of Boethius ; who says, that Contemplation may soar on the 
wings of Philosophy above every element. He likewise recoL> 
lects, in the midst of his com^se, the description of the heavens, 
given by Marcianus Capella in his book De Nuptiis Philologice 
et Merairii^y and Alanus in his Anticlazulian^. At his arrival 
in the confines of the House of Fame, he is alarmed with con- 
6ised murmurs issuing from thence, like distant thunders or 
billows. This circumstance is also borrowed from Ovid's 
temple^. He is left by the eagle near the house, which is 
built of materials bright as polished glass, and stands on a 
rock of ice of excessive he^ht, and almost inaccessible. All 
the southern side of this rock was covered with engi::avings of 
the names of famous men, which were perpetually melting 
away ty the heat of the sim. TTie northern side of the rock 
was alike covered with names; but being here shaded fi:om the 
warmth of the sun^ the characters remained unmelted and un- 
effaced. The structure of the house is thus imagined. 

■ Me thoughtin by sainct Gile, 
That all was of stone of berille, 
Both the castle and the toure, 
Arid eke the hall and everie boure^ : 
Without pecis or joynynges, 
And many subtill compassyngs, 
As barbicans ^ arid pinnacles. 
Imageries and tabernacles 
I sawe, and full eke of windowis 
As flakis fallin in grete snowis. 

In these lines, and in some others which occur hereafter*, 
the poet perhaps alludes to the many new decorations in archi- 

* See Tbe Marchaunt's Tale, v. '^ See Met. 3tii. 39. And '^g. ^n. 

1248. p. 70.-Urr. And Lidg. Stor. W. 173. Val. Flacc. U. 117. Lucan. v 

Theb. fol. 357. 469. 

• ^ A famous Dook in the middle ages. ^ chamber. 

Hiere is an old French translation or it. ^ turrets. 

m>l Reg. Paris. MSS. Cod. 7632. » B. iu, t. 211. 

62 



228 THE HISTORY OF 

tecture, which began to prevail about his time, and gave rise 
to the florid Gothic style. There are instances of this in his 
other poems. In his Dreame, printed 1597.* 

And of a sute were al the touris, 

Subtily carven aftir flouris. 

With many a smal turret hie. 

And in the description of the palace of Pleasaunt Regarde, 
in the Assemblie of Ladies.^ 

f Fairir is none, though it were for a king, 
Devisid wel and that in every thing; 
The towris hie, ful plesante shal ye iinde, 
With fannis fresh, turning with everie winder 
The chambris, and the parlirs of a sorte. 
With bay windows, goodlie as may be thought : 
As for daunsing or othir wise disporte. 
The galeries be al right wel ywrought 

In Chaucer's Life by William Thomas*, it is not mentioned 
that he was appointed clerk of the king's works, in the palace 
of Westminster, in the royal manors of Shene, Kenington^ 
Byfleet, and Clapton, and in the Mews at Charing*^. Again in 
1380, of the works of Su George's chapel at Windsor, then 
ruinous**. — But to return. 

Within the niches formed in the pinnacles stood all round 
the castle, 

^ All manir of minstrelis. 
And jestours^ that tellyn tales 
Both of weping gand eke of game. 

That is, those who supg or recited adventures either tragic or 
comic, wliich excited either compassion or laughter. They 

* ▼. 81. p. 572. Urr, Sec Dart's Westminst. Abset, i. 80. 
*> V. 158. Timothy Thomas was of Christ Chursh 

* [Chaiicer*s Life in Urry's edition. Oxford»anddiedin 1757.-— ADDiTiovt.}: 
Willuun Thomas digested this life from ^ Claus. 8. Ilic. If. 

coUecdons by Dart. His brother, Dr. *^ Pat. 14. Ric. IL Apud Tanner*. ' 

Timothy Thomas, wrote or compiled the Bibl. p. 166. Note e. 

Glossary and Preface t& that edition. ^ This word is above explained* 



ENGLISH POETRY. 229 

#ere accompanied with the most renowned harpers, among 
which were Orpheus, Arion, Chiron, and the Briton Glaske- 
rion^. Behind these were placed, *^ by many a thousand time 
twelve^" players on various instruments of music. Among the 
trumpeters are named Joab, Virgil's Misenus, and Theoda- 
mas^ About these pinnacles were also marshalled the most 
famous magicians, juglers, witches, prophetesses, sorceresses, 
and professors of natural magic ^, which ever existed in antient 
or modem times: such as Medea, Circe, Calliope, Hermes'*, 
Limotheus, and Simon Magus ^ At entering the hall h^ sees 
an infinite multitude of heralds, on the surcoats of whom were 
richly embroidered the armorial ensigns of the most redoubted 

• Concerning this harper, see Percy's Macrobes,** v. 7. Chaucer quotes him in 

Ballads. bis Drkmb, v. 284. In the Nonnxs 

' See also The MAacuAUNT*6 Tale, Priest's Tale, v. 1238. p. 171. Urr. 

▼. 1236. seq. p. 70. Urr. In the Assemblib or Fowles, v. 111. 

' See the Frankelein*s Tale, where see also ibid. v. 31. He wrote a corn- 
several feats are described, as exhibited ment on Tully*s Somnium Scipxonis, 
at a feast done by natural magic, a fa- and in these passages he is referred to on 
▼orite science of the Arabians. Chaucer account of that piece. Petrarch, in a 
there calls it " An art which sbtill tra- letter to Nicolas Sigeros, a learned 
getoris plaie." ▼. 2696. p. 110. Urr. Of Greek of Constantinople, quotes Macro- 
this more will be said hereafter. bius, as a Latin author of all others the 

*^ None of the works of the first Her- niosl familiar to Nicolas. It is to prove 

mes Trism^istus now remain. See Cor- that Homer is the fountain of all inven- 

neL A grip. Van. Scient. cap. xlviii. The tion. This is in 1354. Famil. Let, ix. 2. 

astrological and other philosophical There is a manuscript of the first, and 

pieces under thi^t name are supposititious, part of the second book of Macrobius, 

See Fabr. Biblioth. Gr. xii. 708. And elegantly writj^, as it seems, in France, 

Chan, Yem. Tale, v. 1455. p. 126. Urr. about the year 80a MSS. Cotton. Vi- 

Some of these pieces were published un- tell. C. iJL Cod. Membr. fol. viii. fol. 

der the fictitious names of Abel, Enoch, 138. M. Planudes, a Constantinopoli- 

Abraham, Solomon, Saint Paul, and of tan monk of the fourteenth century, is 

many of the patriarchs and fathers. Cor- said to have translated Macrobius into 

neL Agripp. De Van. Scient. cap. xlv. Greek. But see Fabric. Bibl. Gr. x. 534. 

-Who adds, that these trifles were followed It is remarkable, that i n the above letter, 

by Alphonsus king of Castile, Robert Petrarch apologises for calling Plato the 

Grosthead, Bacon, and Apponus. He Prince of Philosophers, after Cicero, Se- 

mentions Zabulus and Barnabas of Cy- ncca, Apuleius, Plotinus, Saint Am- 

prus as famous writers in magic See brose, and Saint Austin, 
also Gower's Confess. Amant;. p. 134. ^ Among these he mentions Juglers^ 

b. 149. b. edit. 1554. fol. per Berthe- tliat is, in the present sense of the word, 

lette. In speaking of antient autliors, those who practised Legerdemain : a po« 

who were known or celebrated in the pular science in Chaucer's time. Thus 

middle ages, it may be remarked, that in Squ. T. v. 239. Urr. 

JIacrobius was one. He is mentioned ^^ j^gelours playin at these fcstis grete, 

^y William de Lorns m the Roman de "^ » * -^ » 

LA Rose, v. 9. <' Ung aucteur qui ot It was an appendagcoftheoccu.lt sciences 

nom Macrobe/* A line literally trans- studied and introduced into ^ur.ope by 

lated by Chaucer, " A" author that higirt tlie Arabians. 



230 THEHISTORyaF 

champions that ever tourneyed m Africa, Europe, o^ Aaiac 
The floor and roof of the hall were covered with thick platea of 
gold studded with the costliest gems. At the upper end, on 
a lofty shrine made of carbuncle, sate Fame* .Her figure iM 
like those in Virgil and Ovid. Above her, as if sustained on 
her shoulders, sate Alexander and Hercules. From ike throne 
to the gates of the hall, ran a range of pillars with resfiective 
inscripticms. Oh the first pillar made of lead and iron \ stood 
Josephus, the Jewish historic, ^^That of the Jewis gestis 
told," with seven other writers on the same subject. On the 
second pillar, made of iron, and painted all over widi the blood 
of tigers, stood Statins. On another higher than the rest stood 
Homer, Dares Phrygius, Livy *, Lollius, Guido of Columna, 
and Geoffry of Monmouth, writers of the Trojan story. Oh 
a pillar of " tinnid iron clere," stood Virgil : and next him ion 
a pillar of copper, appeared Ovid. The figure of Lucan was 
placed on a pillar of iron " wroght full sternly," ac<x)inpanied 
with many Roman historians™. On a pillar of sulphur stood 
Claudian, so symbolised, because he wrote of Pluto and Pro* 
serpine. 

That bare up all the fame of hell ; 
Of Pluto and of Proserpine 
That queei^ is of the darke pine. ** 

The hall was filled with the writers of antient tales and ro- 
mances, whose subjects and names were too numerous to be 
recounted. In the mean time crouds from every nation and 
of every condition filled the hall, and each presented his claim 
to the queen. A messenger is dispatched to summon EoluiS 
from his cave in Thrace ; who is ordered to bring his two cla- 



^ In the composition of these pillars, Chaucer, See Vie de Petrarque, iii, 

Chaucer displays his chemical know- p. 547. 
4edge. °* Was not not this intended to char 

* Dares Phrygius and Livy are Iwth racterise Lucan? Quintilian says of Lu-v 

cited in Chaucer's Dreme, v. 1070. 1084* can, " QrcUaribus magis quam jwetis an- 

Chaucer is fond of quoting Livy. He numerandus," Instit. Orat. L. x. c. 1. 
was also much admired by Petrarch; " 6. iii. v. 419. Chaucer alludes to 

tvho, while at Paris, assisted in transla- this poem of Claudian in the Mar- 

^ng him into French. This circum- chaunt'sTale^ where he calls Pluto, the 

stance might make Livy a fevouvite with king of "fayrie." v. 1744. p. 73. Urr. 



JSNGLI6H POETRY. 231 

rions called Slander and Praise, and his trumpeter Triton. 
The praises of each petitioner are then resounded^ according 
to the partial or capricious appointment of Fame 4 and equal 
merits obtain very different success. There is much satire and 
humour in these requests and rewards, and in the disgraces 
and honours which are indiscriminately distributed by the 
queen, without discernment and by chance. The poet then 
enters the house or labyrinth of Rumour. It was built of 
sallow twigs, like -a cage, and therefore admitted every sound', 
its doors were also more numerous than leaves on the jtrees, 
and always stood open. These are romantic exaggerations of 
Ovid's inventi<Mis on the same sutject. It was moreover sixty 
miles in l^i^5 and perpetually turning round. From this 
house, says the poet, issued tidings of every kind, like foun- 
tains and rivers from the sea. Its inhabitants, who were eter- 
nally employed in hearing or telling news, together with the 
rise of reports, and the formation of lies, are then humouroUsl]^ 
described : the company is chiefly composed of sailors, pil- 
grims, and pardcmers. At length our author is awakened a£ 
seeii^ a venerable personage of great authority : and thus the 
Viaon abruptly concludes. 

Pope has imitated this piece, with his usual elegance of dic- 
tion and harmony of versification. But in the mean time, he 
has not only misrepresented the story, but marred the cha- 
racter of the poem. He has endeavoured to correct it^s extra- 
vagancies, by new refinements and additions of anotfier cast : 
but he did not consider, that extravagancies are essential to a 
poem of such a structure, and even constitute it's beauties. 
An attempt to unite order and exactness of imagery with a 
subject formed on principles so professedly romantic and ano-^ 
malous, is like ^ving Corinthian pillars to a Gothic palace. 
When I read Pope's elegant imitation of this piece, I think I 
am walking among the modern monuments unsuitably placed 
in Westminstei'-abbey. 



232 THH HISTORY OF 



SECTION XV. 



IS OTHING can be more ingeniously contrived than the oc- 
casion on which Chaucer's Canterbury Tales are supposed 
to be recited. A company of pDgrims, on their journey to 
visit the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury, lodge at the 
Tabarde-inn in Southwark. i Although strangers to each other, 
they are assembled in one room at supper, as was then the 
custon) ; and agree, not only to travel together die next mon> 
ing, but to relieve the fatigue of the journey by telling each a 
story*. Chaucer undoubtedly intended to imitate Boccacio, 
whose Decameron was then the most popular of books, in 
writing a set of tales. B^t the circumstance invented by Boo 
cacio, as the cause which gave rise to his Decameron, or the 
relation of his hundred stories^, is by no means so hi^pily . 
conceived as that of Chaucer for a similar purpose. Boccacio 
supposes, that when the plague began to abate at Florence, 
ten young persons of both sexes retired to a country house, 
two miles from the city, with a design of enjoying fresh air^ 
and passing ten days agreeably, llieir prmcipal and esta- 
blished amusement, instead of playing at chess aft^r dinner, 
was for each to tell a fale. One superiorify, wl)ich, among 
others, Chaucer's plan afforded above that of Boccacio, was 
the opportunity of displaying a variety of striking and drama- 
tic characters, which would not have easily met but on such 

• There is an inn at Burford in Ox- *> It is remarkable, tliat Boccacio chose 

ibrdshire, which accommodated pilgrims a Greek title, that is, Atttan/tt^a; for his 

op their road to Saint Edward's shrine Tales. He has also given Greek namc» 

in the abbey of Gloucester. A long to the ladies and gentlemen who recite 

room, with a series of Gothic windows, the tales. His Kclogues are full of 

still remains, which was their refectory. Greek word^ This was natural at the 

Leland mentions such another, Itin. revival of the Greek language, 
ii. 70. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 28S ^ 

an expedition;— a circumstance which also contributed to give 
a variety to the stories. And for a number of perscMis in their 
tttuaUon, so natural, so practicable, so pleasant, I add so n^ 
tional, a mode of entertainment could not have been imagined. 

The Canterbury Tales are unequal, and of varidus me- 
rit Few, if any, of the stories are perhaps the invention of 
Chaucer. I have already spoken at large of the Knight's 
Tale, one of our author's noblest compositions^. That of 
the Canterbury Tales, which deserves the next place, as 
written in the higher strain of poetry, and the poem by which 
Miltcm describes and characterises Chaucer, is the Squier's 
Tale. The imagination of this story consists in Arabian fio* 
tion engrafied on Grothic chivahy. Nor is this Arabian &s6xm 
purely the sport of arbitrary fiuicy : it is in great measure 
founded on Arabian learning. Cambuscan, a king of Tar- 
tary, celebrates his birth-day festival in the hall of his palace 
at Sarra, with the most royal magnificence. "^ In the midst of 
the solemnity, the guests are alarmed with a miraculous and 
unexpected spectacle: the minstrells cease on a sudden, and 
all the assembly is hushed in silence, surprise, and suspence. 

While that this king sit thus in hi« nobley, 
Herking his ministralles hir thinges pley, 
Befome him at his bord deliciously : 
In at the halle dore, al sodenly, 
Ther came a knight upon a stede of bras ; 
And in his hond a brod mirrour of glas : 
Upon his thombe he had of gold a ring, 
And by his side a naked swerd hanging. 
And up he rideth to the highe bord : 
In all the halle ne was ther spoke a word, 
For mervaille of this knight ; him to behold 
Ful besily they waiten yong and old.** 

* The reader will excuse my irregu- <* v. 96. See a fine romantic story of 

krity ID not considering it under the a Count He Macon : who, while revel- 

Canterbury Tales. I have here given ling in his hall^^•ith many knights, is 

the reason, which is my apology, in the suddenly alarmed hy the entrance of a 

text. gigantic figure of a black man, moaftted 



^3* THE HiJSTORY. ar 

These paresents were ient by die king of Araby loid Ifide 
to CambuBoan in honour iof his .&ast. The Horse of hrB&s^ 
on. the skillful moyepmit and managanent of certain ^ae^ret 
spcings, tCBCtspoTted his rider^into the most distant re^bai of 
the 'vrorld in the space of twentp-fi^ur hours; for, at the rider 
chose^ he could fly in. the air with the smftt^ess of .an eagle: 
and again, as occasioiL required, he could stand motionless in 
opposition. to the strongest fi)f€e^ vanish on a sudden tit conv- 
mand, and return at his master^s call. The Mirrour of glass 
was endued with the power of shewing any futuiife disastOTs 
whidh might h^pen to Cambuscan's kingdom, and discov^ed 
the most hidden machinations of treason. The Naked Sw^nA 
could pierce armour deemed imp^aetrable, 

** Were it as thicke as is a braunched oke." 

And he who was wounded with it could never be healed, un- 
less its possessor could be entreated to stroke the wound with 
its edge. The Ring was intended for Canace, Cambuscan's 
daughter ; and, while she bore it in her purse, or wore it on 
her thumb, enabled her to understand the language of every 
species of birds, and the virtues of every plant 

And whan this knigjbt hath thus his tale told. 
He rideth out of halle and doun he. light : 
His Stede, which that shone as sonne bright, 
Stant in the court as stille as any «ton« 
This knight is to his chambre ladde anon, 
And is unarmed, and to the mete ysette: 
Thise presents ben ful richelich yfette. 
This is to sain, the Swerd and the Mirrour, 
And borne anon into the highe tour. 
With certain officers ordained therfore: 
And unto Canace the Ring is bore 
Solempnely, ther she sat at tlie table. ^ 

on a black steed. This terrible stranger, rious tone, orders the count to follow 

without receiving any obstruction from bira, &c. Nic. Gillos, cbron. ann. 1 120. 

guards or gates, rides directly forward See also Oks. Fair. Ctu. § t. p. 146. 
ip tbt hig^ table; and, with an impe- ' t. 188. 



I have meutioned, in another place; the &torite phUosophn 
cal studies 6f th^ Arabians ^ In :tfais poem the mUure of those 
studies is displayed^ and thdr operations exeiiq)lified.: and this 
consideration^ udded to the circumstances of Tartaiy being the 
scene of action, and Arabia the country from which these es:4 
traordinary presents are brou^t, induces me io believe this 
story to be one of the many.&bles wbidh the Arabians imported 
into Europe. At least it is formed oUvtheir principles. Their 
sciences ware tinctured with the warmth of their imaginations; 
and consisted in wqnderful discoveries and mysterious inven- 
tions. 

This idea of a horse of brass took it's rise from their che- 
mical knowledge and. experiments in metals. The treatise of 
Jeber a famous Arab chemist of the middle ages, called Lapis. 
PHiiiOSOPHoavM, contains many curious and useful processes 
cohcerhing the nature of metals, their fusion, purificadon, and 
malleability, whidi still maintain a place in modern systems of 
that science^. The poets of romance, who deal in Aral:nan 
ideas, describe the Trojan horse as made of brass ^. These 
sages pretended the power of giving life or speech to some of 
their compositions in metal. Bishop Grosthead's speaking 
brazen head, sometimes attributed to Bacon, has its foundation 
in Arabian philosophy^. In the romanceof Valentine and 
Orson, a brazen head fabricated by a necromancer in a mag* 
nificent chamber of the castle of Clerimond, declares to those 
t>vo princes their royal parentage ^ We are told by William 
of Malmesbury, that Pope Sylvester the Second, a profound 

f Diss. L ii. *> See Lydgate*s Trots Boke, B. !▼• 

• The Arabians call chemistry, as c 35. And Gower*s Covf. Amant. B. 

treating of tmnerals and metals, Simia. i. f. 13. b.edit. 1554. « A horse of brasae 

From Sim, a word signifying die veins tliei lette do forge.** . 

of gold and silver in tlie mines. Her- ^ Gowcr, Confess. Amant. ut supr, 

belot, Bibl. Orient, p. 810. b. Hither, L. iv. fol. Ixiiii. a. edit. 1554. 

among many other things, we might re- p^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^^ Groostcst 

fer Merlm s two dragons of gold finished ^ ,^ j,^^^ ^^ ^^.^^ ^^^ 

with most exquisite workmanship, in ^pon clergy a HeadT? Brasse 

^ffrey of Monmouth, Lvui. c. 1 /. T^make. %d forge it for to teUe 

Sec rfso ibid. vii. c. 3. Where Merlm ^^ ^^^^ ^ ^^\.^^ ^^ 

prophesies that a brazen man on a brazen " "^ 

horse shall guard the gates of London. ^ Ch. xxviii. seq. 



236 • THEHISTORYOF 

mathematician who lived In the eleventh centmry, made a bra- 
zen head, which would speak when spoken to, and oracularly 
resolved many difficult questions ^ Albertus Magnus, who 
was also a profound adept in those sciences which were taught 
by the Arabian schools, is said to have framed a man of brass; 
which not only answered questions readily and truly, but was 
so loquacious, tiiat Thomas Aquinas while a pupil of Albertus 
Magnus, afterwards an Angelic doctor, knocked it in pieces as 
the disturber of his abstruse speculations. This was about tiie 
year 1240°^. Much in the same manner, the notion of our 
knight's horse being moved by means of a concealed engine, 
corresponds with their pretences of producing preternatural 
effects, and their love of surprising by geometrical powers. 
Exactiy in this notion, Rocail, a giant in some of the Arabian 
romances, is said to have built a palace, together with his own 
sepulchre, of most magnificent architecture, and with singular 
artifice : in both^ of these he placed a great number of ^gantic 
statues, or images, figured of different metals by talismanic 
skill, which, in consequence of some occult machinery, per- 
formed actions of real life, and looked like living men". We 
must add, that astronomy, which the Arabian philosophers 
studied with a singular enthusiasm, had no small share in the 
composition of this miraculous steed. For, says the poet. 

He that it wrought, he coude many a gin, 
He waited many a constellation 
Or he had don this operation. ° 

* De Gest. Reg. Angl. lib, ii. cap. 10. made with spirits in cheraical operations. 
Compare Maj. Symbolor. Aureae Men- But all these belong to the Arabian phi- 
sap, lib. X. p. 45S, losophy, and are alike to our purpose. 

"^ Delrio, Disquis. Magic, lib.i. cap. 4. In the Arabian books now extant, are 

° Herbeloty Bibl. Orient* V. Rocail. the alphabets out of which they formed 

p. 717. a. Talismans to draw down spunts or an- 

° ▼. 149. I do not precisely under- gels. The Arabian word Kimia, not 

stand the line immediately following. only signiiies chemistry, but a magical 

And knew ful manv a sele and manv ^^ superstiuous science, by which they 

a bond. IJL ^ ^ bound spirits to riieir will and drew from 

^V tliem the. information required. Seo 

Scle, i, e. Seal, may mean a talismanic Herbelot, Diet. Orient, p. 810. tOOd^ 

sigil used in astrology. Or tpe Herme- The curious and more inquisitive reader 

tic seal used in chemistry. Or, con- may consult Cornelius Agrippa, De Va- 

nected with Bond, may signify contracts nit. Sclent, cap. xliv. xlv, xlvi/ 



t • 



ENGLISH POETRY. ' 237 

Thu9 the buckler of the Arabian giant Ben Gian, as famous 
among the Orientals as that of Achilles ^mong the Greeks, was 
fabricated by the powers of astronomy f. And Pope Sylves- 
ter's brazen head, just mentioned, was prepared under the in- 
fluence of certain constellations. 

Natural magic, improperly so called, was likewise a &vorite 
pursuit of the Arabians, by which they imposed false appear- 
ances on the spectator. This was blended with their astrology. 
Our author's Frankelein's Tale is entirely founded on the 
miracles of this art 

For I am siker** that ther be sciences, 
By which men maken divers appearances, 
Swiche as thise subtil tregetoures^ play : 
For oft at festes, have I wel herd say. 
That tregetoures, within an hall^ large, 
Have made come in a watir and a barge. 
And in the hall^ rowen up and doun : 
Somtime hath semid come a grim leoun, 
And somtime floures spring as in a mede ; 
Somtime a vine, and grapes white and rede ; 
Somtime a castel, &c. * 

Afterwards a magician in the same poem shews various specie 
mens of his art in raising such illusions : and by way of divert- 
ing kmg Aurelius before supper, presents before him parks and 
forests filled with deer of vast proportion, some of which are 
kQled with hounds and others vrith arrows. He then shews 
the king a beautiful lady in a dance. At the clapping of the 
magician's hands all these deceptions disappear ^ These feats 
are said to be performed by consultation of the stars". We 

' Many mysteries were concealed in a manner, that for the space of one week, 

the oomposUion of this shield. It de- ** it semid all the roclus were away.*' 

stroyed idl the charms and enchantments ibid. 284 9. By the way, this tale appear» 

which either demons or giants could to be a translation. H^wys, ** As the 

make by goetic or magic art Herbelot, boke doth me remember. ^C 2799. And 

ubisiipr. y. GiAN. p. 396. a. « From Garumne to the mouth of Seine.** 

^ sure. * ' juglers. ▼. 2778. 'Pie Garonne and Seine are 

• V. 2700. Urr, rivers in France. 

' But IKs most capital performance is " See Frankel. T. v. 2820. p. 11 1. Urr. 

to remove an immense chain of rocks The Christians called this one of the 

from the sea-shore : this is done in such diabolical arts of the Saracens or Ara- 



iSS THE HISTORY OF 

lirequently read in romances of illusive appearances framed by 
magicians^, which by the same powers are made suddenly to 
vanish. To trace the matter home to it's true source, these 
fictions have their origin in a science which professedly made 
a considerable part of the Arabian learning^. In the twelfth 
century the number of magical and astrological Arabic books 
translated into Latin was prodigious y^. Chaucer, in the fiction 
before us, supposes that some of the guests in Cambuscan's 
hall believed the Trojan horse to be a tanpcnrary illusion, ef- 
fected by the power of magic ^. 



An appar6nce ymade by som magike, 
As jogelours plain at thise festes grete. 



In speaking of the metallurgy of the Arabians, I must not 
omit the sublime imagination of Spenser, or rather some Bri- 
tish bard, who feigns that the magician Merlin intended to 
build a wall of brass about Cairmardin, or Carmarthen; but 
that bemg hastily called away by the Lady of the Lake, and 

bians. And many of their ovtrri philo- Schr. Compare Agri);>pa, ubi supr. 

sophers, who afterwards wrote on tlie cap. xlii. seq. 

subject or performed experiments on it*s ^ ** Irrepsit hac i&tate etlam turba as- 
principles, were said to deal with the trologorum et Magorum, ejus &riii« 
deriL Witness our Bacon, &c. From libris una cum aliis de Arabicd in Lati- 
Sir John Maundeville*s Travels it ap- numconversis.** Coming. Script. Com- 
pears, that these sciences were in high ment. Sa;c. xiii. cap. S. p. 125. See also 
request in the court of the Cham of Tar* Herbelot. .9^1. Orient* V. Kitab. 
tary about the year 1340. He says, that, passim. . 
at a great festival, on one. side of the * John of Salisbury' says, that magi* 
Emperor's table, he saw placed many cians are those who, among other decep- 
philosophers skilled in various sciences, tions, *^ Rebus adiraunt species ^uas.** 
such as astronomy, necroihancy^ geo* Pdyoat. i. 10. foL 10. b. Agr|p{iamcta-* 
metiy, and pyromancy : that some of tions one Pasefces a jugler, who ** was 
these had berore them astrolabes of gold wont to shewe to strangers a v^ sump- 
and predqns stones, others ha^ horologes tuouse banket, and wheq it pleitsed torn* ; 
richly furnished, with many other ma- to cause it vanishe aWaye, al they which 
tbematieal instruments, &c chap. Izxi. sate at'the table being disapoaifted Mh 
Six John Maundeville began Ids tnwels- of me&te and dHi^e, &c. Van. Sdent. ' 
into the East in 1322, and finished his cap* zlviii. p. 62* b. EngL TVansL ut 
book in i364,^faap. cix. , See Johannes innr. Du Halde sientions a Chinese 
Sari^. PolyAL L. i* cap. xi. foL enchanter, who, when the Emperodr was 
10. b.' ' inconsolabla for the loss of hui deceased 

V ^ See what is said^of Spenaer*s False - queen, caused her imi^ge to appear before 

Fi^RiMKL, Obs. Spei^s. § xL p. 123. him. Hist. Chin. iii. § iv. See the de- 

.*■ Hdrbelot 'mentions many oriental cepdonsof Hak^an Ardnanjugkrin 

pieces, « Qui traittent de cette art peir- Herbelot, in V. p. 41 2. See supr. p. 229, 

nideux at defendu." Diet. Ori^f. Y. . 23a • v. 238. 



ENGLISH FO£TRY% 299 

abin hj Iier perfidy, he has left his fiends still at Wor^ onifais^ 
mighty structure round their brazen cauldron^ under a rock 
among the neighbouring woody clifis of Dynevaur, who dare 
not desist till their master returns* At this day, says the poet,, 
if ]«>a listen at a chink or deft of the rock, 

— — Such gastly nojrse of jnron chaines 
And brasen cauldrons^ thou shalt rombling heare^ 
Which thousand sprights with long enduring paines 
Do tosse^ that it will stunn thy feeble braines. 
And -oftentimes great grones and grievous stowndes 
When too huge toile and laboiur diem constraines. 
And oftentimes loud strokes and ringing sowndes 
From under that deepe rocke most horribly reboundes* 

The cause some say is this : a little while 
Before that Merlin dyde, he dyd intend 
A BRASEN WALL in compasse to compyle 
About Cairmardin, and did it commend 
Unto those sprights to bring to perfect end r 
During which work the Lady of the Lak^ 
Whom long he lovd, for him in haste did send, 
Who therby forst his workemen to forsake, 
Them bounde, till his retume, their labour not to slake.. 

In the mean time, through that felse ladies traine. 

He was surprizd, and buried under beare, 

Ne ever to his work retumd a^dne : 

Nathlesse those feends may not their worke forbear^ 

So greately his conunandement they feare. 

But there do toyle and travayle night and day. 

Until that brasen wall they up do reare. ^ 

This story Spenser borrowed firom Giraldus C&nbrensi^ 
who duruig his progress through Wales, in the twelfth cen- 

^ Fiury Queen, iii*^ 3. 9 seq^ 



240 THE HISTORY OF 

tury, picked it up among other romantic traditions propagated 
by the British bards ^. I have before pointed out the source 
from which the British bards received most of their extravagant 
fictions. 

Optics were likewise a branch of study which suited the 
natural genius of the Arabian philosophers, and which they 
pursued with incredible delight This science was a part of 
the Aristotelic philosophy; which, as I have before observed, 
they refined and filled with a thousand extravagancies. Hence 
our strange knight's Mirror of Glass, prepared on the most 
profound principles of art, and endued with preternatural qua- 
lities. 

And som of hem wondred on the mirrour^ 

That born was up into the maister tour : 

How men mighte in it swiche thinges see. 

An other answered and sayd, It might wel be 

Naturelly by compositions 

Of angles, and of slie reflections: 

And saide, that in Rome was swiche one, 

They speke of Alhazen and Vitellon, 

And Aristotle, that writen in hir lives 

Of queinte mirrours, and of prospectives.** 

And again. 

This mirrour eke that I have in mm hond^ 
Hath swiche a might, that men may in it se 
Whan ther shal falle ony adversitee 
Unto your regne, &c. * 

Alcen, or Alhazen, mentioned in these lines, an Arabic phi- 
losopher, wrote seven books of perspective, and flourished about 
the eleventh century. Vitellio, formed on the same school^ 
was likewise an eminent mathematician of the middle ages, and 

^ See Girald. Cambrens. Itin. Cainbr. differently. Polyolb. lib. iv. p. 62. edit. 

i. c 6. Hollinsh. Hist. i. 129. And 1613. Hence Bacon*s wall of biBsa 

Camden's Brit. p. 734. Drayton has about England, 

this fiction, which he relates somewhat <*ir^ 244. * ▼. 153. 



BNGLiSH PaETRt, 24f 

wrote fen books of Perspective. The Roman mirrour here 
mentioned by Chaucer, as similar to this of the strange knight, 
is thus described by Gowen 

When Rome stoode in noble jdite 
Virgile, which was the parfite, 
A mirrour made of his clergie ^ 
And sette it in the townes eie 
Of marbre on a piUar without^ 
That thei be thyrte mile aboute 
By daie and eke also bi night 
In that mirrour behold might 
Her enemies if any were, &c.« 

The Oriental writers relate, that Giamschid, one of their 
kings, the Solomon of the Persians and their Alexander the 
Great, possessed, among his inestimable treasures, cups, globes, 
and mirrours, of metal, glass, and crystal, by means of which, 
he and his people knew all natural as well as supernatural 
things. A title of an Arabian book, translated from the Persian, 
is, "Xbe Mirrour which reflects the World.*' There is this 
passage in an antient Turkish poet, " When I am purified by 
the light of heaven my soul will become the mirrour of the worlds 
in which I shall discern all abstruse secrets.^ Monsieur PHer- 
belot is of opinion, that the Orientals took these notions firom 
the patriarch Joseph's cup of divination, and Nestor's cup in 
Homer, on which all nature was symbolically represented *". 
Our great countryman Roger Bacon, in his Opus Majus, a 
work entirely formed on the Aristotelic and Arabian philoso- 
phy, describes* a variety of Specula, and explains their con- 

• 

' learning; philosophy. ^ Confess. Amant L v. foL zciv. 6, 

[Thesame fiction isinCazton'sTBOTB edit. Bertti. 1554. utsupr. 

BOKx. . '* Upon thepinade or top of the ^ Horbelot. Diet Oriental. V. Giam. 

tpwre he made an ymage of copper and p. 392. coL 2. John of Sab'sbury men^ 

gave hym in his hande a looking-glasse, tions a species of diyiner» called Secoir- 

haiving such vertK^ that if it happened lAru, who predicted futilte events, and 

that any shippes catne to hanne l£e citie told Tarious secrets, by consuslting mir- 

suddenly, th^ arxny and their coming rours, and the surfiices of other poUshcd 

should appc^ i^ th^ said looking- reflecting substances. Polycrat. i. 12. 

glasse." B. ii. ch. xxii.-*'AopxT»>K9.} P4g« 32. edit. 1595; 

VOL. II. R 



242 THE HISTORY OF 

struction and uses ^ This is the most curious and extraordi* 
nary part of Bacon's book, which was written about the year 
1270. Bacon's optic tube, with which he pretended to see 
future events^ was famous in his age, and long afterwards, and 
chiefly contributed to give him the name of a magician ^. This 
art, with others of the experimental kind, the philosophers of 
those times were fond of adapting to the purposes of thauma:- 
turgy ; and there is much occult and chimerical speculation in 
the discoveries which Bacon affects to have made from optical 
experiments. He asserts, and I am obliged to cite the passage 
in his own mysterious expressions, ^' Omnia sciri per Perspec- 
tivam, quoniam omnes actiones rerum fiunt secundum specie- 
rum et virtutum multiplicationem ab agentibus hujus mundi in 
materias patientes," &c. * Spenser feigns, that the magician 
Merlin made a glassie globcy and presented it to king Ryence, 
which shewed the approach of enemies, and discovered trear- 
sons °*. This fiction, which exactly corresponds with Chaucer's 
Mirrour, Spenser borrowed from some romance, perhaps of 
king Arthur, fraught with Oriental fancy. From the same 
sources came a like fiction of Camoens, in Uie Lusiad", where 
a globe is shewn to Vasco de Gama, representing the universal 
&bric or system of the world, in wliich he sees future kingdoms 
and future events. The Spanish historians report an American 
tradition, but more probably invented by themselves, and built 
on the Saracen fables, in which they were so conversant They 
pretend that some years before the Spaniards entered Mexico, 
the inhabitatits caught a monstrous fowl, of unusual magnitude 
and shape, on tlie lake of Mexico. In the crown of the head 
of this wonderful bird, there was a mirrour or plate of glass, 

* Edit. Jebb. p. 253. Bacon, in one shores with a telescope from the Gallic 

of his manuscripts, complains, that no coast. MSS. lib. Db PsRsrEcrivis. He 

person read lectures in Oxford Da Per- accurately describes reading-glasses or 

spiftCTiTA, before the year 1 267. He adds, tpedacles. Op. Maj. p. 236. And the 

that in the university of Paris, this sci- Camera Obscura, I believe, is one of his 

ence was quite unknown. In Epist ad discoveries. 

Oi^us M[NU8«ClementiIV. Etibid.Op. ^ Wood, Hist. Antiquit. Univ. - 

MiN. iii. cap. ii. MSS. Bibl. Coll. Oxon. i. 122. 
Univ. Oxon. c. 20. In another he af- * Op. Min. MSS. ut supr. 
firms, that Julius Cesar, before he. in- "* Fairy Queen, iii. iL 21. 
vaded Britain, viewed our harbours and * Cant. x. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 243 

in which the Mexicans saw their future invaders the Spaniards, 
and all the disasters which afterwards happened to their king- 
dom.. These superstitions remained, even in the doctrines of 
philosophers, long after the darker ages. Cornelius Agrippa, 
a learned physician of Cologne, about the year 1520, author 
of a &mous book on the Vanity of the Sciences, mentions a 
species of mirrour which exhibited the form of persons absent, 
at command**. In one of these he is said to have shewn to 
the poetical earl of Surry, the image of his mistress, the beau- 
tiftil Geraldine, sick and reposing on a couch p. Nearly allied 
to this, was the infatuation of seeing things in a beryl, which 
was very popular in the reign of James the First, and is alluded 
to by Shakespeare. The Arabians were also famous for other 
machineries of glass, in which their chemistry was more imme- 
diately concerned. The philosophers of their school invented 
a story of a magical steel-glass, placed by Ptolemy on the sum- 
mit of a lofty pillar near the city of Alexandria, for burning 
ships at a distance. The Arabians called this pillar Hemade- 
slaeoTf or the Pillar of the Arabians *». I think it is mentioned 
by Sandys. Roger Bacon has left a manuscript tract on the 
formation of burning-glasses '^i and he relates that the first 

® It is diverting in this book to obsem raised magical looking-glasses. In an 

the infancy of experimental philosophy. Eastern romance, called the Skven Wxsk 

and thor want of knowing how to use Masters, of which more will be said 

or lipply the mechanical arts which they hereafter, 'at the siege of Hur in Persia, 

were even actually possessed of. Agrippa certain philosophers terrified the enemy 

odls the inventor of magnifying ghuses, by a device of placine a habit (says an 

<< without doubte the beginner of all dis- old English translation) <*of a giant- 

honestie." He mentions various sorts like proportion, on a tower, and covering 

of diminishing, burning, reflecting, and it with burning-glasses, looking-glasses 

multiplying fflasses, with some others, of cristall, and other glasses of several 

At length this profound thinker closes colours, wrought together in amarvellous 

the chapter with this sage reflec^on, '* All order," &c. (S. zvii. p. ]82. edit. 1674^ 

these thinges are vaine and superfluous. Hie Constantinopolitan Greeks possess- 

and invented to no other end but for ed these arts in common with the Ara* 

pompe and idle pleasure! " Chap. xxvi. bians. See M orisotus, iL 3 : who says, 

p. 3^ A translation by James Simdford, that in the year 751, they set fire to tiie 

Lond. 1569. 4to. Bl. Let. Saracen fleet before Constantinople by 

' Drayion*s Heroical Epist. p. 87. b; means of burning-glasses, 
edit. 1598. " MSS. Bibl. BodL Di^. 183. And 

*> The same fablers have adapted a si- Arch. A. 149. But I think it wan 

milar fiction to Hercules: thatheerected printed at Francfort, 16|4« 4to. 
pillars at Cape Finesterre, on which be 

r2 



244 TH£ HISTORY OF 

burning-glass which he c<»iatracted cost him sixfy pounds of 
Parisian money*. Ptolemy, who seems to have been confouided 
with Ptolemy the Egyptian astrology and geographer, was 
famous among the Eastern writers and their followers for his 
skill in operations of glass. I^)enser mentic»is a nuraculous 
tower of glass built by Ptolemy, which concealed his mistress 
the Egyptian Phao^ while the invisible inhabitant viewed aU 
the world from every part of it. 

Great Ptolomee it for his leman's sake 
Ybuilded all of glass by magicke power. 
And also it impregnable did mske ^ 

But this magical fortress, although impregnable, was easily 
broken in pieces at one stroke by the builder, when his mistress 
ceased to love. One of Boyardo's extravagancies is a prodi- 
^ous wall of glass built by some magician in Africa, which ob- 
viously betrays its foundation in Arabian fable and Arabian 
philosophy". 

The Naked Sword, another of the gifts presented by the 
strange knight to Cambiiscan, endued with medical virtues^ 
and so hard as to pierce the most solid armour, is likewise an 
Arabian idea. It was suggested by their skiU m medicine^ by 
whic^ they ai&cted to ccmununicate healing qualities to various 
substances ^, and fix>m their knowledge of tempering icaa and 
hardening all kinds of metal ^. It is the classical spear of Pe- 
leus, perhaps ori^ally fabricated in the same regions of fancy. 

And other folk han wondred on the Swerd, 
That wolde percen thurghout every thing ; 
And fell in speche of Telephus the king^ 

' Twenty pounds sterling. Compend. HaU*s Viroidsm. or Satyres, &c. B. it. 
Stud. TheoL c i. |>. 5. MS. S. 6. written in 1597.' 

House of Fame, which is built rf glass! O' ^'Z!" ^ "^ ^** ^^ 
9fid Lydgate's Templz of Glass. It 

is said in some romances written about -^ The notion, mentioned before, that 

the time of the Crusades, that the city every stone of Stone-henge was washed 

of Damascus was walled with glass. See with juices of herbs in Ataca^ and tine- 



fiNGLISH POETRlr- 245 

And of Achilles for his qeinti i^ere 

For he coudewith it bothe hele and dere ^ 

Right in swiche wise as men may with the swerd, 

Of which right now ye have yourselven herd. 

Thei speken of sondry harding of metali 

And speken of me(Ucines therwithaH, 

And how and whan it shul dyharded be, &c. ' 

The sword which Bemi in the Orlando Innamprato, 
^ves to the hero Ruggiero, is tempered by much the same sort 
of magic. ^ 

Quel brando con tal tempra fabbricato, 
Che taglia incanto ad ogni fatatura. ^ 

So al$o his continuator Ariosto, 

Non vale incanto, ov'elle mette il taglio.** 

And the notion that diis weapon could resist all incantations, 
is like the fiction above menticmed of the buckler of the Arabian 
giaat B^i Gian, which baffled the force of charms and enchant- 
ments made by giants or demons^. Spenser has a sword 
endued with the same efBca^, the metal of which the magician 
M^Hn mixed with the juice of meadow-wort, that it might be 
proof a);ainst enchantment; and afterwards, having forged the 
blade in the flames of Etna, he gave it hidden virtue by dipping 
it seven times in the bitter waters of Styx^. From the same 
origin is also die golden lance of Bemi, which Galafrcm king 
of Cathaia, father of the beautiful AngeKca and the inyincible 
champion Argalia, procured for his son by the help of a ma- 
^cian* This lance was of such irresistible power, that it un- 
horsed a knight the instant he was touched with its point. 

tured with healing powers, is apiece of ^ v. ^S^. 

the same philo^phy. ' Orl. Innam. ii. 17. st. IS*. 

' ^ MoR^ucon cites a Greek chemist ^ Orl. Fur. xiL 83. 

of the dark ages, ^Christian! Labt- '^ Amadis de Gaul [Greece. Ritson.] 

EiVTHus Salomonis, dc temperando fer- has such a sword. See Don Quixote, 

ro, conficiendo ^crystallo, et de aliis na- B. iii. Ch. iv. 

turae arcanis.'* Paleeogr. Gr. p. 875. *• Fairy Queen, ii. viii* 20. See also 

y hurt ; wound. Ariost. xiz. 84. 



246 THE HISTORY OF 

Una lancia d'oro, 



Fatto con arte, e con sottil lavoro, 
£ quella lancia di natura tale, 
Che resister non puossi alia sua spinta; 
Forza, o destrezza contra lei non vale, 

Convi^n che Tuna, e I'altra resti vinta ; 

« 

Incanto, a cui non ^ nel mondo eguale, 
L'ha di tanta possanza intomo cinta, 
Che ne il conte di Brava, ni Rinaldo, 
Ne il mondo al colpo suo starebbe saldo. * 

Britomart in Spenser is armed with the same enchanted spear, 
which was made by Bladud an antient British king skilled in 
magic ^ 

The Ring, a gift to the king^s daughter Canace, which 
taught the language of Jbirds, is also quite in the style of some 
others of the occult sciences of these inventive philosophers* : 
and it is the fashion of the Oriental fabulists to give language 
to brutes in general. But to understand the language of birds, . 
was peculiarly one of the boasted sciences of the Arabians ; 
who pretend that many of their countrymen have been skilled 
in the knowledge of the language of birds, ever since the time 
of king Solomon. Their writers relate, that Balkis the que^i 
of Sheba, or Saba, had a bird called HudAudj that is, a lapwing, 
which she dispatched to king Solomon on various occasions; 
and that this trusty bird was the messenger of their amours. 
We are told, that Solomon having been secretly informed by 
this winged confident, that Balkis intended to honour him with 
a grand embassy, enclosed a spacious square with a wall of 
gold and silver bricks, in which he rajiged his numerous troops 
and attendants in order to receive the embassadors, who were 
^tonished at the suddenness of these splendid and unexpected 

* OrL loiuun. S. I. st. 43. See also, romantic enpbontment. Among a thou- 

i. ii. St. 20, &c. And Ariosto, viii. 17. sand instances^ see Orland. Innam. i. 

XYiii. 118. xxiii. 15. 14: where the palace and gardens of 

' Fairy Queen, ill. 3. 60. iv. 6. 6. iii. Dragontina vanish at Angelica's ring of 

1. 4. virtue. 

^ Rings are a frequent implement in 



-:ENG'LISH P O E T K'T^. 247 

preparations^. Monsieur THerbelot tells a curious story of 
tin Arab feeding his camels in a solitary wilderness, who was 
accosted for a draught of water by Alhejaj a famous Arabian 
commander, and who had been separated from his retinue in 
hunting. While they were talking together, a bird flew over 
their heads, mlaking at the same time an unusual sort of noise; 
which the camel-feeder hearing, looked steadfastly on Alhejaj^ 
and demanded who he was. Alhejaj, not choosing to return 
him a direct' answer, desired to know the reason of that ques- 
tion. " Because," replied the camel-feeder, "this bird assured 
me, that a company of people is coming this way, and that you 
are the chief of them.'* While he was speaking, Alhejaj^s 
attendants arrived *. 

This wonderful ring also imparted to the wearer a know- 
ledge of the qualities of plants, which formed an important part 
of the Arabian philosophy ''• 

Tlie vertue of this ring if ye wol here 
Is this, that if hire list it for to were, 
Upon hire thomb, or in hire purse it bere, 
Tber is no foule that fleeth under heven 
That she ne shal wel understond his steven'. 
And know his mening openly and plaine. 
And answere him in his langage againe. 
And every gras that groweth upon rote. 
She shal eke know, and whom it wol do bote< 
All be his woundes never so depe and wide."* 

Every reader of taste and imagination must regret, that in- 
stead of our author's tedious detail of the quaint effects of Ca- 
nace's ring, in which a falcon relates her amours, and talks 

•• Herbclot. Diet. Oriental. V. Bai.- Ebn Ycsef Al Thakefi. p. 442. This 

XMy p. 182. Andiian commander was of the eighth 

[Mahomet believed this foolish stoi:y, century. In tlic Setek Wise Masters, 

at least thou^t it lit for a popular book, one of the tales is founded on the lan^ 

and has therefore inserted it in the Al- guage of birds. Ch. xvi. 

coran. See Grey on Huoibras, part i. ^ See what is said of this in the Dis- 

cant. i. Y. 547.— Additions.] sertations. 

* Sec Herbel. ubi supr. V. HeCiagi * language. " r, 166, 



Si$ THE HISTORY OF: 

&miUarly of Troilus, Paris^ and Ja^n, the notable atc^eve* 
ments we may 8iq)pose to have been pei&rmed by the aiSisiat- 
ance of the horse of brass, are either lost, or thfit this part <^ 
the story, by far the most interesting, was never written. After 
the strange knight has explained to Cambuscan the inanager 
ni^t of this mescal courser, he vani&es on a sudden, and wc 
liear no more of him. 

At after souper goth this noble king 

To seen this Hors of Bras, with all a route 

Of lordes and of ladies him aboute : 

Swiche wondring was ther on this Hors of Bras", 

That sin the gret assege of Troy^ was, 

Ther as men wondred on an hors aiso, 

Ne was ther swiche a wondring as was tho**. 

But finally the king asketh the knight * 

The vertue of his courser and the might ; ' 

And praied him to tell his govemaimce : 

The hors anon gan for to trip and daunce^ 

Whan that the knight laid hond upon his reine.^— 

Enfourmed whan the king was of the knight, 

And hath conceived in his wit aright. 

The maner and the forme of all this thing, 

Ful glad and blitb, this noble doughy king 

" Cervantes mentioiis a hOTse of wood, lona hija del rey de Napoles y de Pi- 

which, like this of Chaucer, on turning eires de Froven^a," printed at Seville 

a pin in his forehead, carried his rider 15SS, and is a translation from a much 

tlux>ugh the air. [A aimliar fiction oc- more ancient and very celebrated FVench 

curs in the Arabian Nights' Entertain- Romance under a similar title. RrrsoH.] 

ments, and must be in the recollection —The French vomance is confessedly 

of every reader.] This horse, Cervantes but a translation : << Ordoi^n^ en cestui 

adds, was made by Meriin ^r Peter of lan^uaige . , . et fut ms en cestui lan-^. 

Provence; with which that valorous guaigePanmilcoccLvii." A Provencal 

knight eapied off the fair Magalona. romance on this subject, doubtlessly ttie 

From what romance Cervantes took this original, was written by Bernard de 

I do not reooUect: but the reader sees Treviez, a Caaon of Maguelone, before 

its correq^ndenoe vrath the fiction of the close of the twelfth century. See 

Chaucer's horse, and wiU refer it to the Ro^efbrt, Poeues des Troubadours, 

same oiigiiiaL See Don Quixote, B. vol. ii. p. 317. On the authority of Ga^ 

iii. ch. 8. We have the same thing in riel's, ** Idee de la ville de Montpelier," 

Vaixkhkk jkKD Oasoir, ch. xxxi. [Hie Petrarch is stated to have corrected and 

romance alluded to by Cervantes, is en- embellished this romance.— •Ebit.] 
titled ** ha Historia de la JSoda Maga- ° then. 



£*NGLISH POETRY. ^4(9: 

Bepaireth to liis re vdi as befonie : 
Tke brydel is into the Toure ybotne*. 
And kept among his jewels p lele and dere: 
The horse vanidt: I nfot in what manere.^ 

By such inventions we are willing to be deceived. TTiese 
are the triumphs of deception over truth. 

Magnanima mensogna^ hor quando e al vero 
Si bello, che si possa a te preporre ? 

The Clerke of OxENFORnEs Tale, or the atoiy of Pati^t 
Grisilde, is the next of Chaucer's Tales in the serious style 
which deserves mention* The Clerke declares in his Prcdqgue, 
that he learned this tale of Petrarch at Padua. But it was die 
invention of Boccacio, and is the last in his Decameron ^ 
Petrarch, although most intimately connected with Boccaeio» 
for near thirty years, never had seen the Decameron tiU just' 
before his death. It accidentally fell into his hands, while he 
resided at Arque between V^ce and Padua, in the year one 
thousand three himdred and seventy-four. The tale of Grisilde 
struck him the most of any : so much, that he got it by heart 
to relate it to his &iends at Padua. Finding that it was the 
most popular of all Boccacio's tales, for the benefit of those who 
did not understand Italian, and to spread its circulation, he 
translated it into Latin with some alterations. Petrarch relates 
this in a letter to Boccado: and adds, that on shewing the 

translation to one of his Paduan friends, the latter, touched 

, » 

* [The bridle of the enchanted horse bles, says, ** The Tale of Grisilde was . 

|s carried into the tower, which was the the invention of Petrarch : by him sent 

treastiry of Gambuscan's castle, to be toBocGace,fromwhomitcaB)e,toCbau« 

Vfmt among ihejewds* Thus when king cer. * ' 

Richaid the Fust, in a crusade, UkS, [It may be doubted whether Boecacio' 

Cyprus, among the treasures in the cas- invented the story of Grisilde. For, as 

ties are recited pretious stones, and the late inquisitive and judicious editor 

golden cups, together with ** Seilis aureis of the Canteiuiurt Tales observes, it 

firenis et cakarUms*" Galfi*. Vinesauf. appears by a Letter of Petrarch to Boc- 

Ite*. Hisrosol. cap. xli, p. 828. Vet. cacio, [Opp. Petrarch, p. 54(V— 7. edit, 

ScaiFT. Akol. torn. iL— Additions.] Basil. 1581.] sent with his Latin trans- 

^jocaliat precious things. lation, in 1373, that Petrarch had heard 

** V. 322. seq. 355. seq. the story with pleasure, many years before 

** Giom. X. Nov. 10. Dryden, in the he saw the Decameron, vol. iv. p. 157. 

superficial but lively Prefiice to his Fa- —Additions.] 



X 



250 THE HISTORT 6^ 

with the tenderness of the story, burst into such frequent and 
\i6lent fits of tears, that he coidd not read to the end. In the 
same letter he says, that a Veronese having heard of the Pa^ 
duan's exqui^teness of feeling on this occasion, resolved to try 
* the experiment He read the whole aloud firom the beginning 
to the end, without the least change of voice or countenance; 
but on returning the book to Petrarch, confessed that it was 
an affecting story : " I should have Wept," added he, " like the 
Paduan, had I thought the story true. But the whole is a 
manifest fiction. There never was, nor ever will be, such a 
wife as Grisilde'." Chaucer, as our Gierke's declaration in the 
Prologue seems to imply, received this tale fi-om Petrarch, and 
not from Boccacio : and I am inclined to think, that he did not 
take it from Petrarch's Latin translation, but that he was one 
of those friends to whom Petrarch used to relate it at Padua. 
This too seems suflSciently pointed out in the words of the Pro- 
logue. 

I wol you tell a tale which that I 
Lerned at Padowe of a worthy clerk :— 
Fraunceis Petrark, the laureat poete, 
Highte this clerke, whos rhetorik swete 
Enlumined all Itaille of poetrie. ^ 

Chaucer's tale is also much longer, and more circumstantial, 
than Boccacio's. Petrarch's Latin translatioa from Boccacio 
was never printed. It is in the royal library at Paris, in that 
of Magdalene college at Oxford ", and in Bennet college library, 
with this tide : " Historia sive Fabula de nobili Marchione 
Walterio domino terrae Saluciarum, quomodo duxit in ux- 
orem Grisildem pauperculam, et ejus constantiam et patien- 

' Vie de Petrarch, iii. 797. dientia et fide uxoria Griseldis in Wal< 

* V. 1057. p. 96. Urr. Afterwards therum Ulme, impress." per me R. . . . 

Petrarch is mentioned as dead. He A.D. 18a3. MS. Not, in MattairiiTy- 

died of an apoplexy, JuL 18, 1374. See pogr. Hist, u i. p. 104. In Bibl. Bodl. 

T. 2168. Oxon. Among the royal manuscripts, 

* " Viz. " Vita Grisildis per Fr. Pc- ia the British Museum, there is, " Fr. 

trarcham de vulgari in liatinam linguam Petrarchae super Historiam Walterii 

traducta.*' But Kawlinson cites, " Epi- Marchionis et Griseldis uxods ejus." 

stolaFrancisci Petrarchae deinsiguiobe- 8. B. vi. 17. 



ENGLISH POETRY. $51 

tiam mirabiliter et acriter tomprobavit : quam de vulgari ser- 
in<»ie Saluciarum in Tittinnm transttdit D. Franciscus Pe« 
trarcjia*," 

The story socm became so pc^ular in France, that the come* 
dians, of Paris represented a Mystery in French verse entided 
Le Mysteue de Griseilihs Marquis de Salucss, in the 
year 1393*. Lydgate, ahnost Chaucer's cotemporary, in his 
manuscript poem entitled the Temple of Glass*, among the 
celebrated lovers painted on the walls of the temple y, mentions 
Dido^ Medea and Jason, Penelope, Alcestis, Patient Grisilde, 
Bel Isoulde and Sir Tristram ^, Pyramus and Thisbe, Theseus, 
Lucretia, Canace, Palamon and Emilia^. 

• [cLxxvu. 10. fol. 76. Again, ibid, er's.— Ritson.] But it is to be observed, 

ccLxxv. 14. fol. 163. Again, ibid, that the French had a metrical romance 

ccccLviii. S. witli the date 1476, I sup- called Judm Macchabh, begun by Gual- 

pose, fhnn the scribe. And in Bibl.' BodL tier de Belleperche, before 1 240. It was 

MSS. Lavd. G. 80.— Additions. ] finished a few years aflerwars by Pierros 

^ It was many years afterwards print- du ReiK. Fauch. p. 197. See alsoLyd- 

ed at Paris, by Jean Boimefons. [This gate, Urr. Chauc. p. 550. v. 89. M. de 

is the ¥^ole title : ** Le Mtstere de la Curne de Sainte Palaye has given us 

Griseldis, Marquis de Saluces, mis en an extract of an old Provencial poem, 

rime Fran^oise et par personnaiges.** in which, among heroes of love and gal- 

Without date, in quarto, and in the Go- lantry, are enumerated Paris, Sir 'JMs- 

thic type. In the colophon, Cyfinist la tram, Ivaine the inventor of gloves and 

vis (W'GrisekUSf &c,— Additions.] The other articles of elegance in dress, Apol- 

writers of the French stage do not men- lonius of Tyre, and king Arthur. Mem. 

tion this piece. ^ee]p, 81, Tlieir first Chev. Kxtr. de Poes. Prov, ii. p. 154. 

theatre is that of Saint Maur, and it's In a French romance, Le livre de cuer d* 

commencement is placed five years later, amour esprU, written 1457, the author 

in the year 1S98. Afterwards Appstolo introduces 1 he blasoning of the arms of 

Zeno vn-ote a theatrical piece on this several celebrated lovers : among which 

subject in Italy. I need npt mention are king David, Nero, IVIark Antony, 

that it is to this day represented in £n- Theseus, Hercules, Eneas, Sir Lancelot, 

gland, on a stage of the lowest species, Sir Tristram, Arthur duke of Bretacjie, 

and of the highest antiquity : I mean at Gaston du Foix, many French duxes, 

a puppet-show. The French have tliis &c. Mem. Lit. viii. p. 592. edit. 4to. 

story in their Parementdesdabies, See The chevalier Bayard, who died about 

Mem. Lit. Tom. ii. p. 743. 4to. the year 1524, is compared to Scipio, 

'■ And in a Bcdade, translated by Lyd- Hannibal, Theseus, lung David, Samson, 

gate from the Latin, '* Grisilde*s humble Judas Maccal)cus, Orlando, Godfrey 

patience*' is recorded. Urr. Cb. p. 550. of Bulloign, and monsieur de Palisse, 

T. 108, marshal of France. La Vie et les 

^ There is 9 more curious mixture in Gestes du preux Chevalier Batard, 

Chaucer's ^odade to Hng Henry IV. &c. Printed 1525. - 
"Where Alexander, Hector, Julius Cesar, * From Morte Arthur. They arc 

Judas Maccabeus, David, Joshua, Char- mentioned in Chaucer's Assemblie of 

lemagne, Godfrey of Bulloign, and king Fowles, v. 290. See also Compl. BI. 

Arthur, are all thrown together as an*- Kn. v. 367. 

tient heroes, v, 281. seq. [These are * MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Fairfax. 16. 
tlic nine worthies. The buladc is Gow- 



35S THE HIS TORT OF 



Tbe pathos of this poem, which is indeed exquiinte^ diieiy 
consists in invention x)t incidents^ and the contriTance of the 
story, which cannot conveniently be developed in &is f^aoe 9 
and it will be impossible to give aiqr idea of itfs essential excel- 
lence by exhibitii^ detached parts. The versification is eq«al» 
to the rest of our author's poetry. 



ENGLISH FOETRY. S5S 



SECTION XVL 



1 HE Tale of the Nonnes Priest is perhaps a story of En- 
glish growth. The story of the cock and the fox is evidently 
borrowed from a collection of Esopean and other &bles, written 
by Marie a French poetess, whose Lais are preserved in MSS. 
Haul.* Beside the absolute resemblance it appears still 
more probable that Chaucer copied from Marie, because no 
such fable is to be found either in the Greek Esop, (^ in any 
of the Latin Esopean compilations of the dark agesf » All the 
manuscripts of Marie's fables in the British Museum proves 
that she translated her work ^^de TAnglois en Roman/' Pro- 
bably her English original was Alfred's Anglo-Saxon version 
ofEsop modernised, and still bearing his name. 1^ professes 
to follow the version of a king ; who, in the best of the Harleiaa 
copies, is called Li reis Alur£d|. She appears, from pas- 
sages in her Lais, to have understood English §• I will give 
her Epilogue to the Fables from MSS. James, viii. p. 23. BibL 
Bodl.< 

Al finement de cest escrit 

Qu'en romanz ai treite e dit 

Me numeral pour remembraunce 

Marie ai nun sui de France 

Pur eel cstre que clerc plusur 

Prendreient sur eus mun labeur 

Ne voit que nul sur li sa die 

Eil feit que fol que sei ublie 

Pur ^mur k cunte WUame 

Le plus vaiUant de nul realme 

* fut infr. see f. 139.] § [See ChaueerVi Cakvxrb. Talss^ 

t See MSS. Haru 978. f. 76.] YXiL w. p. 175.] 

t C^SS. Harl. 978. supr. dtatr] 



SSI*' THE HrgrORY OP 

Meinlemir de ceste livre feire 
E des Engleis en romanz treire 
Esop apelum cest livre 
Quil translata e fist eserire 
Del Gru en Latin le tuma 
Le Reiz Alurez que mut lama 
Le translata puis en Engleis 
E jeo lai rimee en Franceis 
Si cum jeo poi plus proprement 
Ore pri a dieu omnipotent, &c. 

The figment of Dan Bumell's Ass is taken from a Latin 
poem entitled Speculum Stultorum, * written by Nigellus de 
Wireker, monk and precentor of Canterbury cathedral, a pro- 
found theologist, who flourished about the year ISOO**. The 
narrative of the two pilgrims is borrowed from Valerius Maxi- 
mus^. It is also related by Cicero, a less known and a less 
&vourite author'^. There is much hiunour in the description 
of the prodigious confusion which happened in the &rm-yard 
after the fox had conveyed away the cock. 

After him they ran, 



And eke with staves many another man. 

Ran Colle our dogge, and Talbot, and Gerlond% 

And Malkin with her distaf in hire hond. 

Ran cow and calf,' and eke the very hogges. — 

The dokes crieden as men wold hem quelle % 

The gees for fere flewen over the trees, 

Out of the hive came the swarme of bees. < 

Even Jack Strawe's insurrection, a recent transaction, was not 
attended with so much noise and disturbance. 

* T. 1427. p. 172. Urr. laam's aas in the Chester WBirsmr 

^ Or^ohn of Salisbury. FHnted at Flats. MSS. Hael. 2013.— Aodi- 

Cologn in 1449. tioks.] 

[Itb entitled BuaKXLLVs, nve Spe* ^ ▼. 1100. 

culum StvUoruntt and was written about ' See Val. Max. L 7. And Cic. de 

tibe year 1190. See Leyser. Poir. Mid. DiTinat. i. 27. 

^▼i, p. 752. It is a common manu- ' names of dogs. ' kill. 

script. JBumell is a nick-name for Ba- ■ v. 1496. 



ENGLISH POETRY, 255 

So hidous was the noise, ah Benedicite I 
Certes he Jacke Strawe, and his meine, 
Ne maden never shoutes half so shrille, &c. ^ 
The importance and affectation of sagacity with which dame 
Partlett communicates her medical advice, and displays her 
knowledge in physic, is a ridicule on the state of medicine and 
its professors. ^ 

In another strain, the cock is thus beautifully described, and 
notvnthout some striking and picturesque allusions to the man- 
ners of the times. 

A cok highte chaunteclere, 

In all the land of crowing n'as his pere. 
His vols was merier than, the mery orgon*' 
On masse-dai^s that in the cherches.gon. 
Wei sikerer * was his crowing in his loge"* 

Tlian is a clok, or any abbey orloge. 

His combe was redder than the fin corall, 
Enbattelled" as it were a castel wall, 
His bill was black and as the jet it shone, 
Like asmre were his legges, and his tone° : 
His nailes whiter than the lilie fiour, 
And like the burned gold was his colour, p 
In this poem the fox is compared to the three arch-traitors 
Judas Iscariot, Virgil's Sinon, and Ganilion who betrayed the 
Christian army imder Charlemagne to the Saracens, and is 
mentioned by archbishop Turpin.** Here also are cited, as 
writers of high note or authority, Cato, Physiologus or Pliny* 
the elder, ^Boethius on mu^ic, the author of the legend of the 
life of saint Kenelme, Josephus, the historian of Sir Lancelot 
du Lake, Saint Austin, bishop Bradwardine, Jeffrey \3nesauf 
who wrote»4iu)nody in Latin verac on the death of king Richard 
the First, Ecclesiastes, Virgil, and Macrobius. 

* T. 1509. This is a proof that the *» v. 1341. See also Monk. T. v. 806. 
CAvtKmmjvr Tales were not written • [Dr. Warton afterwards discpvered 
till after the year 1S81. * r. 1070. that by Fhysiologus, Florinus Wa9 in- 

. ^ orgaa. * clearer, [surer. Ritson.] tended, and not I%ny; and has corrected 
*° pen ; yard. ° embatteUed. his mistake in Section jxvu, vol. iii. p. 5. 

• toes. . P ▼. 96 Note ».] . 



266 THE HISTORY OP 

■ 
I 

Our author's January and May, car the Marchaunt's 
Tale, seems to be an old Lombard story. But many passages 
in it are evidently taken from the Polycraticon of John of 
Salisbury. De molestiis et oneribus conjugtorum secundum Hie-- 
ronymum et alios philosophos. Et depemicie Ubidinis. Et de 
vmlieris Epkesirue et similium Jtde.^ And by the way, about 
forty verses belonging to this argument are translated from the 
same chapter of die Polycraticon, in the Wife or Bath*s 
Prologue^. In the mean time it is not improbable, that this 
tale might have originally been Oriental. A Persian tale is just 
published which it extremely resembles^; and it has much of 
the allegory of an Eastern apologue. 

The following description of the wedding-feast of January 
and May is conceived and expressed with a distinguished de- 
gree of poeti<»l elegance. 

Thus ben they wedded with solempnite^ 
And at the feste sitteth he and she, 
With other worthy folk upon the deis" : 
Al ful of joye and blisse is the paleis, 

** L. viii. ell. fol. 193. b. edit. 1513. wards, is the celebrated Eloisa. Trot- 
* Mention is made in this Prologue tula is mentioned, v. 677. Among the 
of St. Jerom and Theophrast, on that manuscripts of Merton CoU^pe in Ox- 
subject, V. 671. 674. The author of the ford, is, « Trottida Mulier Salemitana 
FOiybniticon quotes Theophrastus fixmi de passionibus mulkrunl." Th«!« is 
Jerom, viz. <* Fertur auctore Hieroninio also extant, " Trottula, seu potius Erotis 
aureohis Theophrasti libellusde non du- medici muliebrium liber.*' Basil. 1586. 
cendauxore.** fol. 194. a. Chaucer like- 4to. See also Mcmtfauc CataL MSS. 
wise^ on this occasion, cites Vcdpie, p. 385. And Fabric. BiU. Gn ziii. 
V. 671. This is not the favorite historian p. 439. ' 
of the middle a^es, Valerius Maximus. ^ By Mr. Dow, ch. xr. p. 253. 
It is a book wntten by Walter Mapes, [The ludicrous adventure of the Pear 
ardideacon of Oxford,under the assumed Tree, in January aitd Mat, is taken 
name of Valerius, entitled, Valerius ad from a' cdlection of Fables in Latin 
Rvfinum de non ducenda tixore. Tins elegiacs, written by one AdolpHus in the 
piece is in the Bodleian library with a year 1315. Leys^. Hist. Poxt. Mei>» 
large Gloss. MSS. Digb. 166. ii. 147. ^Yi,p. 2008. The same fable is among 
Mfq>es perhaps adopted this name, be- the JVi6/iesof^jpAon«e,inCaxton*s Esop. 
cause one Valerius had written a trea- -« Additions.] 

tise on the same subject, inserted in St. ^ I have explained this word, voLL p. 43. 

Jerom's works. Some copies of this But will here add some new illustrations 

Prologue, instead of *' Valerie and of it. Undoubtedly the high table in a - 

Theophrast,** read Paraphrast* If that public refectory, as appears from diese 

be the true reading, which I do not he- words in Mathew Paris, " Priore {nan- 

liev9, Chaucer alludes to tbe^loss above dente ad maonam mbnsam qnajn Dais 

mentioned. Hel&wis, cited just after-, vulgo appellamua." In Vit. Abbvt' S. 



ENGLISH POETEY. 257 

And fill of instruments and of vitaille, 
The most daynteous of all Itaille. 
Before hem stood swiche instruments of soun. 
That Orpheus, ne of Thebes Amphion 
Ne maden never swiche a melodie ; 
At every cours in cam loude minstralcie. 
That never Joab tromped *^, for to here, 
Ne he Theodamas yet half so clere. 
At Thebes, whan the citee was in doute ^. 
Bacchus the win hem skinketli ^ al aboute, 
And Venus laugheth upon every wight. 
For January was become hire knight, 
And wolde bothe assaien his corage 
In libertee and eke in mariage. 
And with hire firebronde in hire hond aboute 
Danceth before the bride and al the route. 
And certainly I dare right wel say this, 
^ Ymeneus that god of wedding is 
Saw never his life so mery a wedded man. 
Hold thou thy pees, thou poet Marcian*, 
That writest us that ilke wedding mery 
, Of hire Philologie and him Mercuric, 

Albani, p. 92. And again the same fore whidb was floored with planks, wa» 

. writer says, that a cup, with a foot, or called the dais (the rest being either the 

stand, was not permitted in the hall of bare ground, or at best paved with stone) ; 

' the monastery, ** Nisi tantum in majori and being raised above the level of the 

Xensa quam Dais appellamus.*' Addi- other parts, it was oflen called the high 

tarn. p. 148. There is an old French dais. As the principal table was always 

word. Dais, which signifies a throne* or placed upon a dais, it began very soon, 

canopy, usually placed over the head of by a natural abuse of words, to be caUed 

the principal person at a magnificent itself a {ia»; and people were said to sit 

feast. Hence it was transferred to the at the dais, instead of at the table upon 

table tit winch he sate. In the anient the dais. Menage, whose authority seems 

Frendi Roman de Garin; to have led later antiquaries to interpret 

- Aup,u.b.ut.^.si,t«,yAnse«. '^^^r^J^^^^ft' ^^Z^ 
'' £ither at 'th6 first table, or, which is meant properly the hangings at the back 
much the same ^ngy under the highest of the company. But as the same hang- 
canopy, ings were often drawn over, so as to form 
[I apprehend that [dais] originally a kind of canopy over their beads, the 
signified the wooden floor [a*ais Fr. de whole was called a efgr;.—- T.] 
assibus Lat. 1 which was laid at the upper ^ *' such as Joab never," ftc 
end of the hall, as we stiU see it in college ^ danger. ' fiO^ pdur. 
halls &c. Tbat part of the room there- * See supr. p, 227. 

VOL. !!• S 



258 THE HISTOEY OF 

And of the songes that the Muses songe ; 

To smal is both thy pen, and eke thy tonge. 

For to descriven of his manage, 

Whan tendre Youth hath wedded stouping Age.— 

Maius that sit with so benigne a chere 

Hire to behold it semed faerie* : 

Queue Hester loked never with swiche an eye 

On Assuere, so meke a loke hath she : 

I may you not devise al hire beautee, 

But thus moch of hire beautee tel I may 

That she was like the brighte morwe of May, 

Fulfilled of all beautee and plesance. 

This January is ravished in a trance 

At every time he loketh in hire face, 

But in his herte be gan hire to manace, Sic^ 

Dryden and Pope have modernised the two last-mentioned 
poems. Dryden the tale of the Nonnes Peiest, and Pope 
that of January and May : intending perhaps to give patterns 
of the best of Chaucer's Tale$ in the comic species. But I am 
of opinion that the Miller's Tale has more true humour than 
either. Not that I mean to palliate the levity of the story, 
which was most prol^^bly chosen by Chaucer in dompliance 
with the prevailing manners of an unpolished age^ and agree- 
able to ideas of festivity not always the most delicate and refined. 
Chaucer abounds in liberties of this kind, and this must be his 
apology. So does Boccacio, and perhaps much more, but 
firom a different cause* The licentiousness of Boccacio's tales, 
which he composed per cacciar le malincolia deUe femine^ to 
amuse the ladies, is to be vindicated, at least accounted for, on 
other principles : it was not so much the conseque9ce of po- 
pular incivility, as it was owing to a particular event of the 
writer's age. Just before Boccacio wrote, the plague at Ro- 
rence had totally changed the customs and manners of the peo- 
ple. Only a few of the women had survived this fatal malady; 

'. ♦ 

' A phantasy, enehantiiaent. ^ y. 1225. Urr. 



ENOLISH POETRY. 2^9 

who having lost their husbands, parents, or friends, gradually 
grew^r^ardless of those constraints and customary formalities 
which before of course influenced their behaviour. For want 
of female attendants, they were obliged oflen to take men only 
into their service: and this circumstance greatly contributed 
to destroy their habits of delicacy, and gave an opening to va- 
rious freedoms and indecencies unsuitable to the sex, and fre- 
quently productive of very serious consequences. As to the 
monasteries, it is not surprising that Boccacio should have 
made them the scenes of his most libertine stories. The plague 
had thrown open their gates. The monks and nuns wandered 
abroad, and partaking of the common Uberties of life, and th^ 
levities of the world, forgot the rigour of their institutions, and 
the severity of their ecclesiastical characters. At the ceasing 
of the plague, when the religious were compelled to return to 
their cloisters, they could not forsake their attachment to these 
secular indulgences ; they continued to practise the same free 
course of life, and would not submit to the disagreeable 'and 
unsocial injunctions of their respective orders. Cotemporary 
historians give a shocking representation of the imbounded 
debaucheries of the Florentines on this occasion : and eccle- 
siastical writers mention this period as the grand epoch of the 
relaxation of monastic disciplines Boccacio did not escape the 
censure of the Church for these compositions. His conversion 
was a point much laboured ; and in expiation of his fcdlies, he 
was almost persuaded to renounce poetry and the heathen au- 
thors, and to turn Carthusian. But, to say the truth, Bocca- 
cio's life was almost as loose as his writings; till he was in 
great measure reclaimed by the powerful remonstrances of bis 
master Petrarch, who talked much more to the purpose than 
his confessor. This Boccacio himself acknowledges in the 
fiflh of his eclogues, which like those of Petrarch are enigma- 
tical and obscure, entitled Philosotrophos. 

But to return to the Miller's Tale. The character of the 
Clerke of Oxford, who studied astrology, a science then in high 
repute, but under the spacious appearance of decorum, and the 

s 2 






25b THE HlSTOkY OF 

mask of the serious philosopher, carried on intrigues, isj)ainfed 
with these lively circumstances. 

This clerk tiras cleped hendy Nicholas*^, 

Of dern^** love he coude and of solas: 
. • And therto he was slie, and fill prive, 

And like a maiden meke for to se. 

A chambre had he in that hostelrie * 
. Alone, withouten any compagnie, 

Ful fetisly ydight with herbes sote ^ ; 

And he himself was swete as is the rote ^ 

Of licoris, or any setewale^. 

His almageste*, and bokes grete and smale, 

His astrelabre ^ longing for his art, 

His augrim stones * layen faire apart, 

On shelves, couched at his beddes hed ; 

His presse™ ycovered with a falding red : 

* the gentle Nicholas. ^ secret, in voeue. There is a statute of Henry 

* Hosjntium, one of the old hostels at the Fifth, against the transmutation of 
Oxford, which were very numerous be- metals, in Statut. an. 4. Hen. V. cap, 
fore the foundation of the colleges. This iv. viz. A.D. 1416. Chaucer, in the 
is one of the citizens houses : a circum- Astr(dabe, refers to two famous mathe- 

- itanoe which gave rise to the story. maticians and astronomers of his time, 

' sweet. ' root. John Some, and Nicholas Lynne, both 

^ the herb Valerian. Carmelite friars of Oxford, and perhaps 

* A book of astronomy written by his friends, whom he calls ** reverent 
Ptolemy. It was in tliirteen books. He clerkes.** Astrolabe, \t, 440, coh u Urr. 

' wrote also four books of judicial astro- Tliey both wrote calendars, which, like 

logy. He was an Egyptian astrologist, Chaucer's Astrolabe, were constructed 

and flourished under Marcus Antoninus, for the meridian of Oxford. Chaucer 

* He is mentioned in the Sompnour's Tale, mentions Alcabucius, an astronomer, 
V. 1035, and the fTi/^ of Bathes Prdogiie, that is, Abdilazi Alchabitius, whose Isa- 
V. 324. goge in astrologiam was printed at Ve- 

^ asterlabore \ an astrolabe. nice, 1485, 4to. lb. foL 440. col. ii. 

1 stones for computation. Augrim is Compare Herbelot. Bibl. Oriental. 

- Algorithm, the sum of the principtd rules p. 963. b. V. Ketab. Alasthtniab* p. 141. 
; of common aritlnnctic. Chaucer was a. Nicholas Lynne above mentioned is 

himself an adept in this sort of know- said to have made several voyages to the 

- ledge. The learned Selden is of opinion, most northerly parts of the wond, charts 
that hi^ Astrolabe was compiled from the of which he presented to Edward the 
Arabian astronomers and mathemati- Third. Periiaps to Iceland, and tlie 
dans. See his pref. to Notes on Drayl coasts of Norway, for astronomical ob- 
Polyolb. p. 4. where the word Dulcar^ servations. These charts are lost. Hak- 

* non (Troil. Cr. ill. 933, 935.) is ex- luyt apttd Anderson. Hist. Com. i. 
. plained^to be an Arabic term for a root p. 191* sub ann. 1360. (See Hakl. 

in calculation. His Chanon YEitAN*s Voy. i. iSl. seq. ed. 1598.) 

- Taxx proves his intimate acquaintance ^,ptes9. 
with the Hermetic philosophy, thenmuch 



ENGLISH POETKT. 2fil 



/ 1 



And all above there lay a gay sautiie ", 
On which he made on nightes melodie 
So swetely that al the chambre rong, 
And Angelm ad Virginem he song®. 

In the description of the young wife of our philosopher's 
host, there is great elegance with a mixture of burlesque allu- 
sions. Not to mention the curiosity of a female portrait, drawn 
wilh so much exactness at such a distance of time. 

Fayre was this yong^ wife, and tharwithal 
As any weselP hire body gent andsmal. 
A seint she wered, barred all of silk % 
A barmecloth* eke, as white as morwe milk, 
Upon hire lendes, fill of many a gore '. 
White was hire smok, and brouded all before", 
And eke behind, on hire colere aboute, 
Of cbleblak silk, within, and eke withoute, 
. The tapes ^ of hire whit^ volipere * 
Were of the sam6 suit of hire colere ^. 
Hire fillet * brode of silk, and set full hye, 
And sikerly* she had a likerous eye. 
Ful smal ypulled** were hire browes two, 
And thy*^ were bent^ and black as any slo. 
And she was wel more bli^fiil on to see 
Than is the new^ perienet*^ tree ; 
And sofl;er than the woUe is of a wether : 
And by hire girdle heng a purse of lether, 

' psaltery; an instrument like a liarp. 'apron. 

• V. 91. p. 24. Urr, * plait; fold^ 

• ' ^ weasle. ** edged ; adcvned. 

^ ** A girdle edged with silk." ^ut ^ tapes; strings. 

' wc have no exact idea of what is here , ' head-^ress. ^ collar, 

meant by barrid. The Doctor op Phi- ^ knot ; top-knot. 

sicKE is ''girt with a seint of silk with * certainly. 

Morris %male." Prol, v. 138. I once con- ^ ''made small or narrow, by pluck- 

jectured barded. See Hollingsh. Chron. ing." 

iii. 84, col. ii. 850. col. 1. &c. &c. [See * they. '• arched. 

8upr. p. 313, note'.] • a young pear-tree. Fr. Ptdrjeunet. 



\ 



262 THE HISTOEY OF 

Tasseled^ with silk, and perlid*^ with latoun^. 
In all this world to seken up and d6un, 
There nis no man so wise that coudfe thenche 
So gay a popelot^ or swiche a weriche. 
Full brighter was the shining of hire hewe 
Than in the Tour the noble ^ yforged newe. 
But of hire song, it was as loud and yeme^, 
As any swalow sitting on a beme* 
Therto she coude skip, and make a game, 
As any kid or calf folowing his dame. 
Hire mouth was sw^ie as braket'* or the meth. 
Or hord of af^pels laid in hay or hedL 
Winsing she was as is a joly colt, 
Long as a mast, and upri^t as a bolt^ 
A broche'^ she bare upon hire low colere 
As brode as is the bosse of a bokelere'* 
Hire shoon were laced on hire legges hie, &c® 

Nicholas, as we may suppose, was not proof against the 
charms of his bloioming hostess* He has frequent opportuni- 
ties of conversing with her; for her husband is the carpenter 
of Oseney Abbey near Oxford, and often absent in the woods 
belonging to the monastery ". His rival is Absalom, a parish- 
clerk, the gidest of his Calling, Who being amorously inclined, 

*> tasseled; fringed. ^ shrill; [brisk, eaeer. T.] 

^ I would read purfild. [I believe ^ bn^get. A driim made of honey, 

ornamented with IiUxmn in the shape spices, &Ck 

of pearls.— T. An expression used by * ** straight as an arrow.*' 

Frands Thynne in lus letter to Spe^ht ^ a jewd. . [It seems to have siffnified 

wiU explain this term : Orfrayet bemg originally the tongue of a bu<£le or 

compounded of the French or andyrc^s, cla^ and from uence the buckle or 

(or ftyx English,) is that which to tibis clasp itself. It probably came by de- 

daye (being now made all of one stuffe grees to signify any kind of jeweL— T» 

or substance) is called fnsed or peried ^ budder. 

cloth of gokU-^EniT.] •" v. 125. Urr. 

^ latoun, or chekelaton, is doth of » g^e v. 557. 

so pretty a puppet. [TTiis may p ^^ ^j^ ^.^ ^^^ j^ 

Mther be considered as a diminutive from ■. >•*'"'*'»* »i/iwi. u^mm uuu 

C^ \T^yZ„^l corruption of p^ ^ .^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^ 



£NG|.ISH POETRY. 263 

veiy naturally ayails himself of a circumstance belcmging to his 
profession : on holidays it was his business to carry the censer 
about the church, and he takes this opportunity of casting un- 
lawM glances on the handsomest dames of the parish* His 
gallantry, agility, affectation of dress and personal elegance, 
skill in shaving and surgery, smattering in the law, taste for 
music^ arid many other accomplishments, are thus inimitably 
represented by Chaucer, who must have much relished so 
ridiculous a character. 

Now was ther of that chirche a parish clerke, 

The which that was ycleped Absalon, 

Crulle was his here, and as the golde it shone. 

And strouted as a fanni large and brode, 

Ful streight and even lay his joly shode^. 

His Tode^ was red, his eyen grey as goos, 

With Poules windowes corven on his shoos ^. 

In hosen red he went fid fetisly : 

Yclad he was ful smal and prop^ly 

All in a kirtel*^ of a light waget, 

Ful faire, and thicks ben the pointes set : 

And therupon he had a gay surplise 

As white as is the blosme upon the rise*. 

A mery child he was, so god me save, 

Wei coud he leten blod, and clippe, and shave. 

And make a chartre of lond and a quitance ; 

In twenty manere coud he trip and dance. 

After the scole of Oxenforde tho, 

And with his legges casten to and fro. 

** hair. ' comfdexioii. is, a warden, chaplain and clerk, are or* 

** See p. 215, note ^ supr. [CalcMfenes- dered to go " in meris caligis, et sotula- 

trati occur in antient Injunctions to the ribus non rostratis, nisi forsitan boHs uti 

dergy. In Eton-college statutes, given voluerunt." And it is added, " Vestes 

in 1446, the fellows are foifoidden to deferant nonJUmlatas, sed desuper clau- 

wear wtvkaria rottraiOj as also caUgcBf 8as,vdfrretnto<enonnotandas.**RK6i8TE. 

white, red, or green, cap. xix. In a Priory S. Swithini Winton. MS. supr. 

diantxy, or chapel, founded at Winches- citat. Quatem. 6. Compare WiUuns's 

ter in iae year 1318, within the ceme- Conciu ii|. 670. ii. 4.— Asditxoks.] 
lery of the Nuns of the Blessed Virgin, ' jacket, 
by Roger Inkpenne, the members, that * hawthorn [branch]. 



264 THE HISTORY OF 

And playen songes on a smal ribible*, 
Therto he song sometime a loud quinible^ 

His manner of making love must not be omitted. He se- 
renades her with his guittar. 

He waketh al the night, and al the day, 

He kembeth his lockes brode, and made him gay. 

He woeth her by menes and brocage", 

And swore he wolde ben hire owen page. 

He singeth brokking^ as a nightingale. 

He sent hire pinnes, methe, and spiced ale. 

And wafres piping hot out of the glede y, 

And, for she was of toun, he profered mede ''. — 

' V. 224. A species of guittar. Lyd- thin'js priory at Winchester, by the said 

gate, MSS. Bibl. Bodl. Fairf. 16. In a bishop, it appears that tbe'moaks claimed 

poem, never printed, called Reason and to have, among other articles of luxury, 

SensuaUUe,conil>yUdby Jkon Lydgate, on many festivals, '< Vinum, tam album 

T X- u'u* n u*i-i \ J * quam rubeum, claretum, medonem, bur- 

Lutys,rub.bis(lnbible8),andgeternes, ^^^Irtruni," &c. This was so eaily as 

More for estatys tlmn tovemes. ^^^ ^^ jg'gj ^^^^ j^,^ g^ g^ 

* treble. * Winton. MS. supr. citat. quatern. 5. It 
" by offering money : or a settlement, appears also, that the Hordarius and Ca- 
^ quavering. merarius claimed every year of the prior 
^ the coals : the oven. ten dolia mm, or twenty pounds in mo- 

* See Rime of Sir Thopas, v. 3357. ney, A. D. 1337. Ibid, quatem. 5. A 
p. 146. Urr. Mr. Walpole has mentioned benefactor grants to the said convent on 
some curious particulars concerning the the day of his anniversary, *' unam pi- 
liquors which antiently prevailed in En- pam vini pret. xx.s." for their refection, 
gland. Anecd. Paint, i. p. 11. I will A.D. 1286. Ibid, quatern. 10. Before 
add, that cyder was very early a common the year 1 200, ** Vina et medones'* are 
liquor among our ancestors. In the year mentioned as not uncommon in the ab- 
1295, an. 23 Edw. I. the king orders bey of Evesham in Worcestershire. Ste- 
the sheriff of Southamptonshire to pro- vens Monast. Append, p. 138. The use 
vide with all speed four hundred quar- of mead, medo, seems to have been very 
ters of wheat, to be collected in parts of antient in England. See Mon. AngL i. 
his bailiwick nearest the sea, and to con- 26. Thome, Chron. sub ann. 1114. 
vey the same, being well winnowed, in Compare Dissertat. i. [It is not my 
good ships from Portsmouth to Win-, intention to enter into the controversy 
Chelsea. Also to put on board the said concerning tlie cultivation of vines, tor 
ships, at the same time, two hundred making wine, in England. I shall only 
tons of cyder. Test. R. apud Canter- bring to h'ght the following remarkable 
bury. The cost to be paid immediately passage on that subject from an old En- 
from the king's v^Tirdrobe. This precept glish writer on gardening and ffuining. 
is in old Friench. Registr. Job. Pontis- << We might have a reasonable good wine 
sar. Episc. Winton. fol. 172. It is re- grow3mg in many places of this realme: 
markable that Wickliffe translates, Luc. as undoubtedly wee had immediately af- 
i. 21. " He schal not drinke wyn ne ter the Conquest ; tyll partly by slou&- 
sf/dyr," Tliis translation was made about fulncsse, not liking any thing long that 
A. D. 1380. At a visitation of St. Swi- is painefuli, partly by dvill discord long 



ENGLISHPOETRY. 265 

Sometime to shew his lightnesse and maistrie 
He plaieth herode^ on a scaffold hie. 

Again, 

Whan that the firsts Cocke hath crowe anon, 
Upiist this joly Jover Absolon ; 
And him arayeth gay at point devise. 
But first he cheweth grein ^ and licorise. 
To smellen sote, or he had spoke with here. 
Under his tonge a trewe love he here, 
For therby wend he to ben gracious ; 
He Cometh to the carpenteres hous*^. 

In the mean time the scholar, intent on accomplishing hb 
intrigue, locks himself up in his chamber for the space of two 
days. The carpenter, alarmed at this long seclusion, and sup- 
posing that his guest might be sick or dead, tries to gain ad-, 
mittajice, but in vain. He peeps through a crevice of the door, 
and at length discovers the scholar, who is conscious that he 
was seen, in an affected trance of abstr^ted meditation. On 
this our carpenter, reflecting on the danger of being wise, and 
exulting in the security of his own ignorance, exclaims, 

continuyng, itwasleft,andsowith t3rme Husbandry, &c. Lohd. 1578. 4to. To 

lost, asappearetfa by a number of places the Readeb.— Additions.] 

in iMs reaime that keepe still the name * Spcght explains this ** feats of acti- 

of Vineyardes : and uppon many cliffes vity, furious parts in a play." Gloss. Cb. 

and hilles, are yet to be seene the rootes Urr. Perhaps the character of Herod 

and olde remaynes of Vines. There is in a Mtstert. [The old reading was 

besides Nottingham, an auncient house ''heraudes.'*] 

called Chilwell, in which house remayn- ^ Greyns, or grains, of Paris, or Pa- 

eth yet, as an auncient monument, in radise, occurs in the Romant of the 

a Great Wyndowe of Glasse, the whole Rose. v. 1369. A rent of herring pics' 

Order of planting, pruyning, [pruning,] is an old payment from the city of Nor- 

stampii^ and pressing of vines. Beside, wich to the king, seasoned among other, 

there [at that place] ih yet also growing spices with half an ounce of grains of 

an old vine, that yields a grape sufficient Paradise, Blomf. Noif. ii. 264. > 

to make a right good wine, as was lately ^ v. 579. It is to be remarked, that 

proved.— There hath, moreover, good in this tale the carpenter swears, with 

experience of late yeears been made, by great propriety, by die patroness saint of 

two noble and honorable barons of this Oxford, saint Frideswide, v. 340. 

reaime, the lorde Cobham and the lorde ' 

Wylliams of Tame, who had both grow- Tl"s carpenter to blissin him began, 

yng about their houses, as good wines And scide now helpm us samt Fridc». 

as are in many parts of Frauncc," &c. wide. 
Barnabie Googe*s FouR|i bookes of 



266 TH£ HISTORY OF 

A man wote litel what shal him betide I 

This man is fidlen with his astronomie 

In som woodnesse^ or in som agonie. 

I thought ay wel how that it shuld^ be : 

Men shuld^ not know^ of goddes privetee. 

Ya blessed be alway the Iewed-man% 

That nought but only his beleve can^ 

So ferd another clerke with astronomie; 

He walked in the feldes for to prie 

Upon the sterres what there shuld befalle 

Till he was in a marl^pit jrfalle ; 

He saw not that But yet, by seint Thomas, 

Me reweth sore of hendy Nicholas : 

He shall be rated for his studying* 

But the scholar has ample gratification for this ridicule. 
The carpenter is at length admitted ; and the scholar conti- 
nuing the farce, gravely acquaints the former that he has been 
all this while miJcing a most important discovery by means of 
astrological calculations* He is soon persuaded to believe the 
prediction : and in the sequel, which cannot be repeated here, 
this humourous contrivance crowns the scholar's schemes vnth 
success, and proves the cause of the carpenter's disgrace. In 
this piece the reader observes that the humour of the charao* 
ters is made subservient to the {dot* 

I have before hinted, that Chaucer's obscenity is in great 
measure to be imputed to his age* We are apt to form ro- 
mantic and exaggerated notions about the moral innocence of 
our ancestors* Ages of ignorance and simplicity are thought 
to be ages of purity. The direct contrary, I believe, is the 
case* Rude periods have that grossness of manners which is 
not less friendly to virtue than luxtlry itself. In the middle 
ages, not only the most flagrant violations of modesty were fre- 
quently practised and permitted, but the most infamous vices* 

* "pry into the secrets of nature." ' " Who knows only what he b«- 

* anlearned. lieves:" or, his Creed. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 267 

Men are less ashamed as they are less polished. Oreat refine- 
ment multiplies criminal pleasures^ but at the same time pre- 
vents the actual commission of many enmmities : at least it 
preserves public decency, and suppresses public lic^itiousness. 

The Reves Tale, or the Miller of Trompington, is much 
in the same style, but with less humour ^ . This story was en- 
larged by Chaucer firom Boccacio'^. There is an old Ikiglish 
poem on the same plan, entitled, A ryght pleasant and merye 
history of the Mylner of Abington, with his Wife and Jaire 
Daughter^ and two poore Scholars of Cambridge^. It b^ins 
with these lines. 

** Faire lordinges, if you list to heere 
A mery jest"* your minds to cheere." 

This piece is supposed by Wood to have been written by 
Andrew Borde, a physician, a wit, and a poet, in the reign of 
Henry the Eighth**. It was at least evidently written after 

* See also Thx Supman's Talx, seven miles from Cambridge.] Imprint, 
which was origimdly taken from some at London by Rycharde Jones, 4to. BL 
cbmic French trobadour. But Chaucer Let. It is in BibL BodL Selden, C. S9. 
had it from Boccacio. The story of 4to. This book was probably given to 
Zenobia, in the Monkes Tale, is from that library, with many other petty black 
Boccacio*s Cas. Vir. Illustr. (S^ Lydg. letter histories, in prose and verse, of a 
Boch. viii. 7.) That of Hugolin of Pi^ similar cast, by Robert Burton, author 
in the same Tale, from Dante. That of Of the Akatomt of Melancholy, who 
Pedro of Spain, from ardibishop Tur- was a greitt c(dlector][of such pieces. One 
pin, ibid. Of Julius Cesar, from Lu- of his books now in the Bodleian is the 
can, Suetonius, and Valerius Maximus, HistobtopTomThumb; whomalean^- 
ibld. Tlie ides of this Tale was sug- ed antiquary, while he laments that an^ 
gested by Boccacio*s book on the same tient history has been much disguised by 
subject. roi^antic narratives, pronounces to have 
. ^ Decamer. Giom. iz. Nov. 6. [But been no less important a personage than 
both Boccacio and Chaucer probably king Edgiur's dwarf. ™ story, 
borrowed from an old Conte, or Fa- ^ See Wood's Athen. Oxon. Bobbk. 
BLiAU, by an anonymous French rhymer. And Heame*s Bened. Abb. L Fraefat. 
De Gombert et des deux Clers. See Fa- p. zl. Iv. I am of opinion that Solere- 
BUAUX et CoKTZs, Paris, 1756. tom. iL Hall, in Cambridge, mentioned in this 
p. 115—124. The Shipman's Tale, poem, was Aula Solarii. The hall, with 
as I havie hinted, originally came from the upper story, at that time, a sufficient 
some such French Fablxoub, through circumstance to distinguish and deno- 
the medium of Boccacio.-^ Additions.] roinate one of the academical hospitia. 
^ A numifest mistake for Oxford, un- Although Chaucer calls it, ^ a grete col- 
less we read Trumpington for Abing- lege,** v. 881. Thus in Ozford we had 
don, or retaining Abingdon we might Chimney-hall, Aula cum Camino, an 
read Ozford for Qunbridge. [There is, almost parallel proof of the simplicity of 
however, Abington, with a mm-^tream, their antient houses of learning. Twyne 



268 THE HISTORY OF 

the time of Chaucer. It is the work of some tasteless imitator, 
who has sufficiently disguised his original, by retaining none of 
its spirit I mention these circumstances, lest it should be 
thought that this frigid abridgment was the ground-work of 
Chaucer's poem on the same subject In the class of humour- 
ous or satirical tales, the Sompnour's Tale, which exposes 
the tricks and extortions of the Mendicant friars, has also di- 
stinguished merit This piece has incidentally been mentioned 
above with the Plowman's Tale, and Pierce Plowman. 
, Genuine humour, the concomitant of true taste, consists in 
discerning improprieties in books as well as characters. We , 
therefore must remark under this class another tale of Chaucer, 
which till lately has been looked upon as a grave heroic nar- 
rative. I mean the Rime of Sir Thopas. . Chaucer, at a 
period which almost realised the manners of romahtic chivalry, 
discerned the leading absurdities of the old romances : and in 
this poem, which may be justly called a prelude to Don Quix- 
ote, has burlesqued them with exquisite ridicule. That this 
was the poet's aim, appears from many passages. But, to put 
the matter beyond a doubt, take the words of an ingenious 
critic. " We are to observe," says he, " that this was Chaucer's 
own Tale : and that, when in the progress of it, the good sense 
of the host is made to break in upon him, and interrupt him, 
Chaucer approves his disgust, and changing his note, tells the 
simple instructive Tale of Meliboeus, a moral tale vertuom^ 
as he terms it; to show«what sort of fictions were most expres- 
sive of real life, and most proper to be put into the hands of 
tlie people. It is further to be noted, that the Boke of The. 
Giant Olyphant^ and Chylde Thopas^ was not a fiction of his 
own, but a story of antique fame, and very celebrated in the 

also mentions Solcre-hall, at Oxford, reasons assigned, one of th^ two halls 

Also Aula Salarii, which I doubt not is or colleges at Cambridge, might at first 

properly Solarii. Compare Wood Ant. have been commonly called Soler-hall. 

Oxon. ii. 11. col. i. 13. col. i. 12. col. ii. A hall near Brazen-nose college, Ox- 

Caius will have it to be Clare-hall. Hist, ford, was called Glazen-hall, having 

Acad. p. 57. Those who read Scholars- glass windows, antiently not common, 

hall (of Edw. III.) may consult Wacht 5»ee Twyne Miscel. qua>dam, &c. ad 

V. tSoLLER. In the mean time, for the calc. Apol. Antiq. Acad. Oxon. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 



269 



days of chivalry: so that nothmg could better suit the poet's de- 
sign of discrediting the old romances, than the choice of this ve- 
nerable legend for the vehicle of his ridicule upon them**." But 
it is to be remembered, that Chaucer's design was intended to 
ridicule the frivolous descriptions, and other tedious imperti- 
nencies, so common in the volumes of chivalry with which his 
age was overwhelmed, not to degrade in general or expose a 
mode of fabling, whose sublime extravagancies constitute the 
marvellous graces of his own Cambuscan; a composition 
which at the same time abundantly demonstrates, that the 
manners of romance are better calculated to answer the pur- 
poses of pure poetry, to captivate the imagination, and to pifo- 
duce surprise, than the fictions of classical antiquity. 

^ See Dr. Hurd*s Letters on Chi- been so fortunate as to meet with any 

VALRY AND RoMANCE. Dialogucs, &c. traces of such a story of an earlier date 

iii. 218. edit. 1765. [With regaiti to than the Canterbury Tales." And Mr. 

** The boke of Tlie Giant Olyphant and Ritson in language at once elegant and 

Chylde Tbopas, Mr. Tyrwhitt has ob- expressive, has pronounced the whole 

yefved : ** I can only say that I have not statement *' a lye. "—Edit. ] 



270 TH£ HH8TO.RY OP 



SECTION XVII. 



JjUT Chaucer's vein of humour, although conspicuous in the 
Cantebbvry Tales, is chi^y displayed in the Characters 
with which they are introduced. In these his knowledge of 
the world availed him in a peculiar degree, and enabled him 
to give such an accurate picture of antient manners, as no co- 
temporary nation has transmitted to posterity. It is hare that 
we view the pursuits and employments, the customs and diver- 
sions, of our ancestors, copied from the life, and represented 
with equal truth and spirit, by a judge of mankind, whose pe- 
netration qualified him to discern their foibles or discriminating 
peculiarities; and by an artist, who understood that proper se- 
lection of circumstances, and those predominant characteristics, 
which form a finished portrait We are surprised to find, in 
so gross and ignorant an age, such talents for satire, and for 
observation on life; qualities which usually exert themsdlves 
at more civilised periods, when the improved state of society, 
by subtilising our speculations, and establishing uniform modes 
of behaviour, disposes mankind to study themselves, and ren- 
ders deviations of conduct, and singularities of character, more 
inunediately and necessarily the objects of censure and ridicule. 
These curious and valuable remains are specimens of Chau- 
cer's native genius, unassisted and unalloyed. The figures are 
all British, and bear no suspicious signatures of Classical, Ita- 
lian, or French imitation. The characters of Theophrastus 
are not so lively, particular, and appropriated. A few traites 
from this celebrated part of our author, yet too litde tasted and 
understood, may be sufficient to prove and illustrate what is 
here advanced. 

The character of the Prioresse is chiefly distinguished by 



ENGLISH POETRY. 271 

an excess of delicacy and decorum, and an affectation of courtly 
accomplishments* But we are informed, that she was educated 
at the school of Stratford at Bow near London, perhaps a 
fiishionable seminary for breeding nuns* 

There was also a nonne a Prioresse 

That of hire smiling was M simple and coy; 

Hire gretest othe n'as but by seint Eloy*», &c* 

And Frenche she spake full &yre and fetisly, 

After the scole of Stratford atte Bowe, 

For Frenche of Paris was to hire imknowe. 

At metJb^ was she wel ytaughte withalle; 

She lette no morsel from hire lippes &lle, ' 

^ Se^fO^Lw, L e. Saint Lewis. [Sane- Third her son had granted a chinch in 

tus Eugiiis. T* This saint is mentioned Winchester diocese, to the monasteiy of 

by Lyndsay in his Monarchy.] The Leedes in Yorkshire, for their better 

same oath occurs in the Fiixzas*s Tale, support, *< a trouver sis chagndgnea 

▼. 300. p. 88. Urr. ^ chantans tous les jours en la diapele du 

^dinner. [The Frioresse's exact be- Chastel de Ledes, poifr hume mA^ftTTMy 

haviouf at table, is copied firom Rom. Alianorereyned'Angleterre,*'&c. A.D. 

RosK, 14178—14199. 1341. Q^atem.vi. 

To speak Frendi is mentioned above, ther some of the most remarkable oaths 

amon^ her accomplishments. There is a in the Canterbury Tales, llie Hoar, 

letter mold French fixnn queen Philippa, swears by my /other** atmie, Urr. p. 7. 

and her daughter Isabell, to the Friour 783. Sir Tuopas, by ale and briade. 

of Saint Swithin*s at Winchester, to ad- p. 146. 3377. Arcite, by my pan, i, e. 

mitt one Agnes Patsbull into an eleemo- head, p. 10. 1167. Theseus, by mi^ttie 

sjmary sbterhood belonging to his con- Mars the red. p. 14. 1749. Again, as be 

vent. The Priour is requited to grant vhis a trew knight, p. 9. 961. The Cak- 

her, « Une Lyvere en votre Maison dieu penteh's wife, by saint Thomas tf£entm 

de Wynoestere et estre un des soers," for p. 26. 183. The 9iiiih, by Ohrittesfoote^ 

her me. Written at Windesor, Apr. 25. p. 29. 674. The Cambridqe Scbolab, 

Tlie year must have been about 1350. by my father's kinn, p, 31. 930. Again, 

Reoista. Friorat. MS. supr. dtat Qua- by my croune, ib. 933. Again, for godet 

tern. xix. foL 4. I do not so much cite benes, or benison, p. 32. 965. Again, by 

this instance to prove tiiat the Priour seint Cvthberde* ib. 1019. Sir Johan<^ 

must be supposed to understand French, Bohndis, by seint Martyne* p. S7» 107. 

as to shew that itwaa now the court Iai- Gameltv, by goddis hike, p. 38. 181. 

guage, and even on a matter of business. Gamelth's brother, by mmU Bidiere. 

There was at least a great propriety, that ibid. 273. Again, by Cristis ore, ib. 279l 

the queen and princess ^oidd mte in A Framkblbtn, by saint Jame that m 

this language, although to an ecclesiastic GaJlis is, i. e. saint James of Galida, 

of digmty. In the same Register, there p. 40. 549. 1514. A Porter, by GodtUs 

is a letter in old French from the queen berde, ib. 581. Gamsltk, by my halSf 

Dowager IsabcU to Uie Priour and Con- or nedc. p. 42. 773. The Maistir Oot- 

vent of Winchester; to shew, that it was lawe, by the gode rode. p. 4&^ 1265. 

at her request, that king Edward the The Hosts, by the precious corpw iUo- 



272 THE HISTORY OF 

Ne wette hire fingres in hire saucfe depe ,* 

Wd coude she carie a morse)) and wel kepe^ 

Thatte no drope ne fell upon hire bresj ; 

In curtesie was sette fill moche hire lest^. 

Hire overlipp^ wiped she so dene, 

That in hire cuppe was no ferthing sene 

Of gres^, whan she dronken hadde hire draught, 

Ful semely after hire mete she raught*. — 

And peined hire to contrefeten chere 

Of coiut, and bene statelich of manere^ 

She has even the false pity and sentimentality of many mo- 
dem ladies. 

She was so charitable and so pitous, 
She woldfe wepe if that she saw a mous 
Caughte in a trappe, if it were ded or bledde. 
Of smal^ hoimdes hadde she that she fed 
With rosted flesh, and milk, and wastel brede^ : 
But sore wept she if on of hem were dede, 
Or if men smote it with a yerde^ smert: 
And all was conscience and tendre herte'. 

The Wife of Bath is more amiable for her plain and use- 
ful qualifications. She is a respectable dame, and her chief 
pride consists in being a conspicuous and significant character 
at church on a Sunday. 

Of clothmaking^ she hadde swiche an haunt 
She passed hem of Ipres and of Gaunt*. 

cfrtsn. p. 160. 4. Again, by saint Faults p. 160. 43. The Monke, by Ids porihose, 

. beli. p. 168. 89S. The Mak of Laws, or breviary, p. IS9. 26S9. Again, by 

Depfordeux, p. 49. 39. The Marchaunt, God and saint Martin, ib. ^656, The 

. by Sfdnt Thomas of Inde. p. 66. 745. HosTS,byarmtf,6/odeand6onu.p.24.17. 

. The SoMFNOuR, by goddis armis two. p. —Additions.] ^ pleasure, desire. 

. 82. 833. The Hosts, by cockis bonis. * literally, stretched [reached]. 

; p. 106. 2235. Again, by nayUs and by ' Prol. v. 124. 

, biode, I. e. of Christ p. 130. 1802. Again, > bread of a finer sort. 

by samt Damian. p. 131. 1824. Again, *^ stick. * v, H3. 

, by saint Runion. ib. 1834. Again, by ^ It is to be observed, that she lived 

. Corpus domim. ib. 1838. The Riottour, in the neighbourhood of Bath ; a coun-* 

. by Goddis digne bones, p. 135. £21 1. The try famous for clothing to this day. 

. Hosts, to the Monke, by your father kin. ' See above, p. 9, note. 



EKGLTSH POETRY. 273 

In all the parish, wif ne was there non 

That to the oflfVibg bifore hire shulde gon ; 

And if ther did, certain so wroth was she, 

That she was out of alle charite. 

Hire coverchiefe"* weren fill fine of ground, 

I dorste swere they weyeden a pound. 

That on the sonday were upon hire hede : 

Her hosen weren of fine scarlet rede, 

•Full streite iteyed, and shoon fill moist and newe : 

Bold was hire fiice, and fayre and rede of hew. 

She was' a worthy woman all hire live : 

Housbondes at the chirche dore" had she had five.** 

The Frankelein is a country gentleman, whose estete con- 
sisted in fi'ee land, and was not subject to feudal services or 
payments. He is ambitious of shewing his riches by the plenty 
of his table : but his hospitality, a virtue much more practicable 
among our ancestors than at present^ often degenerates into 
luxurious excess. His impatience if his saUces were not suffi-; 
ciently poignant^ and every article of his dinner in due form 
and readiness, is touched with the hand of Pope or Boileau. 
He had been a president at the sessions, knight of the shire, a 
sheriff, and a coroner p. 

An housholder, and that a grete, was he : 
Seint Julian he was in his contree *». 



»» - 



"* head-dress. Marten. Kit. Eccl. Anecdot. li. p. GSO, 

^ At the southern entrance of Nor- And Hearmi's Antiquit. Glmstonti. Ap- 

wich cathedral, a r^resentation of the pend. p. 310. 

EtPOUsALS) or sacrament of marriage, is ** v. 449. 

carved in stone ; for here the hands of ' An oflSce antiently executed by gen^^ 

the couple were joined by the priest, tlemen of the greatest respect and pro- 
and great part of the service performed. • perty. 

Here also the bnde was endowed with ^ Simon the leper, at whose house our 

what was called Dos ad ostium ecclma. Saviour lodged in Bethany, is called, in 

This ceremony is Exhibited in a curioqs the Legeniu, Julian the good herborowf 

old picture eng^ved b^'Mr. Walpole, and bishop of Bethpage. In tlie Tale 

where king Henry the Seventh is mar- of Bcryn, St. Julian is invoked to re- 

ried to bis queen, standing at the facade venge a traveller who had been traitor- 

or western portal of a magnificent Gothic ously used in his lodgings. See Lhr. 

church. Anecd. Paint, i. fU. Coiripare Ch. p. 599. v. 625. 

VOL. 11. T 



I 



274 THE HISTOKY O^F 

His bred^ bis ale» was alway afta: on ; 
A better envyned'' man was no wher lunu 
Withouten bake mete never was his bous 
Offish and flesh, and that so plenteous. 
It snewed ^ in his hous of mete and drinke^ 
Of alle dekitees that men coud of thinke* 
After the sondry sesons of the yere, 
So changed he his mete^ and his soiqpere. 
Ful many a fat portrich hadde he in mewe. 
And many a breme, and many a luee^^ in stewe. 
Wo was his coke, but if his saui^ were 
Poinant and sharpe, and ready all his gere ! 
His table dormant^ in his halle alway, 
Stpde redy covered, all the long^ day.^ 

The character of the Doctor of Phisicke preserves to us 
the state of medical knowledge, and the course of medical eru- 
dition then in fashion. He treats his patients according to 
rules of astrcHiomy: a science which the Arabians engrafted 
on medicine. 

Foe he was grounded in astronomie : 
He kept his patient a ful gret dele 
In houres by his magike naturel. ^ 

Petrarch leaves a legacy to his physician John de Dondi^ 
of Padua, who was likewise a great astronomer, in the year 
1 370 ^. It was a long time before the medical profession was 
purged fi'cmi these superstitions. Hugo de Evesham, bom in 
Worcestershire, one of the most famous physicians in Europe 
about the year 12B0, educatad in both the universities of En«^ 
g^d, and at others in France and Italy, was eminently skilled 
in mathematics and astronomy '. Pierre d'Apono, a celebrated 
(yrofessor of medicine and astronomy at Padua, wrote comnien* 
taries on the problems of Aristotle, in the year IS 10. Roger 

' [stored wKh wine. T.l * v. 356. * v. 416. 

• snowed* * dinner. * See Acad. Inscnpt. xt, 443. 

• pike* " never removed. " Pits* p. 370. Bale, iv. JO. xiii. 86. 



Bacon says, <* a^ttpnomias pars melior medicinal." In the 
statutes dr New-College at Oxford, given in the year 1387, 
ihedicine and astronomy are menticmed as one and the same 
sciaice* Charles the Fifth king of France, who was governed 
entirely by astrcdogers, and who commanded all the Latin trea* 
tises which could be found relating to the stars, to be translated 
into French, established a college in the university of Paris for 
the study erf* medicine and astrology^. There is a scarce and 
very curious book, entitled, ^^ Nova medicinse methodus cu- 
randi morbos ex mathematica scientia deprompta, nunc denuo 
revis% &c. Joanne Hasftirto Virdungo, medico et astrologo 
doctisi|imo^ au^tore, tiaganoss excus. 1518^." Hence magic 
made a part of medicine. In the M archaunts second tale, 
or HistOftT OP Beryn, falsiely ascribed to Chaucer, a chirur- 
gical operation of changing eyes is partly performed by the 
assistance of the occult sciences. 



-The whole science of all surgery, 



Was unyd, or the chaunge was made of both eye. 
With many sotill enchantours, and eke nygrymauncers, 
That sent wer for the nonis, maistris, and scoleris. * 

Ldlmd mentions one William Glatisaunt, an astrologer and 
physician, a feUow of Merton college in Oxford, who wrote a 
medical tract, which, says he, ".nescio quid MAGiiE spirabat^." 
I could add many other proofs^. 

The books which our physician studied are then enume^ 
n^edi 

* " • 

Well knew he the old Elsculapius, 
And Dioscorides, and eke Rufus, 
Old Hii^)ocms, Hali, and Gallien, 
Serapion, Rasis, and Avicen, 
Averrois, Damascene, and Constantin, 
Bernard, and Gattisden, and Gilbertin. 

. *> Bacon, Op. Maj. edit. Jebb, p. 158. • v. 2989. Urr. Ch. 

See also p. 240. 247. ^ Lei. apud Tann. Btbl. p. 262. And 

. * Montfaucon, Bibl. Manuscript, torn. Lei. Script. Brit. p. 400, 

ii. p. 791. b. ** In quarto. • See Ames's Hist. Print, p. 147. 

T 2 



276 THE HISTORY OF 

Rufus, a physician of Ephesus, Wrote in Greek, about the 
time of Trajan. Some fragments of his works still remain** 
Haly was a fafcious Ambic astronomer, and a commentator oa 
Galen, in the eleventh century, which produced so many fti^ 
mous Arabian physicians'. John Serapion, of the same age 
and country, wrote on the practice of physic ^. Avicen, the 
most eminent physician of the Arabian school, flourished in 
the same century'. Rhasis, an Asiatic physician, practised at 
Cordoua in %)ain, where he died in the tenth century"^. Aver- 
roes, as the Asiatic schools decayed by the indolence o( the Ca- 
liphs, was one of those philosophers who adorned the Moorish 
schools erected in Africa and Spain. He was a professor in 
tlie university of Morocco. He wrote a commentary on all 
Aristotle's works, and died about the year 1 1 60. He was styled 
the most Peripatetic of all the Arabian writers. He was born 
at Cordoua of an antient Arabic family". John Damascene, 
secretary to one of the Caliphs, wrote in various sciences, be- 
fore the Arabians had entered Europe, and had seen the Gre- 
cian philosophers °. Constantinus Afer, a monk of Cassino in 
Italy, was one of the Saracen physicians who brought medicine 
into Europe, and formed the Salemitan school, chiefly by 
translating various Arabian and Grecian medical books into 
Latin P. He was bom at Carthage: and learned grammar, 

•» Conring. Script Com. Saec. i. cap. 4. " Coming, ut supr. Sajc. xii. cap. 2. 

p. 66, 67. The Arabians have trans- p. 118. 

lations of him. Herbal. Bibl. Orient. ** Voss. Hist Gr. L. ii. c. 24. 

p. 972. b. 977. b. ** Petr. Diacon. de Vir. iUustr. Mo- 

* Id. ibid. Saec. xi. cap. .5. p. 114. nast Cassin. cap. xxiii. See the Dissia- 

Haly, called Abbas, was likewise an tations. He is again mentioned by our 

eminent physician of this period. He author in the Marchaukt*s Talk, v. 

was called " Simla Galeni" Id. ibid. 1S26. p. 71. Urr. 

k Id. ibid. p. 113, 114. 

» Id. ibid. See Pard. T. v. 2407. Urr. And lectuaries had he there full fine, 

» 15^^ Soche as the cursid monk Zkin Constan- 

°* Conring. ut supr. Sapc. x. cap. 4. ^^^^ 

p. 1 10. He wrote a large and famous Hath written in his boke dc Coitu. 
work, called Co«<in.y. Rharfs ^d AU ^ ^ ^^ ^.^ ^^ .^ „ j^^ ^^ 

raasor, (f. Albumasar, a ereat Arabian .. -^ -. i. '^ -u j* 

^ , ^ N . '. r. ^fi -n^ quibus prosit aut obsit, quibus medica- 

Astrolosrur,) occur m the library of Fe- ^ . ». '^ \^ i. ^. ^ ^ •_. j« 

. I u A I u TiJT * •- T -u, TUT «* minibus et alimentis acuatur impedia- 

tcrborouffh Abby,Matric. Libr.Monafit. ^ »» t * r\ t» m tco/- ^i 

o • o T> * • /^ * T> *^-K « lor turve. Inter Op. Basil. 1536. fol. 
Bqrgi S. Fetn. Ounton, Feterb. p. 187. *^ 

i>ee Hcarije, Ben. Abb. Prapf. lix. , 



KNGLISII POKTRY. 277 

logic, geometry, arithinetic, astronomy, and natiinil philoso- 
phy, of the Chaldees, Arabians, Persians, Saracens, Egyptians, 
and Indians, in the schools of Bagdat. Being thus completely 
accomplished in these sciences, after thirty-nine years study, 
he returned into Africa, where an attempt was formed against 
his life, Constantine, having fortunately discovered this de- 
sign, privately took ship and came to Salerno in Italy, tvhere 
he lurked some time in disguise. But he was recognised by 
the Caliph's brother then at Salerno, who recommended him 
as a scholar universally skilled in the learning of all nations, to 
the notice of Robert duke of Normandy. Robert entertained 
him with the highest marks of respect : and Constantine, by 
the advice of his patron, retired to the monastery of Cassino, 
where being kindly received by the abbot Desiderius, he trans- 
lated in that learned society the books above mentioned, most 
of which he first imported into Europe. These versions are 
said to be still extant. He flourished aboiK the year 1086**. 
Bernard, or Bernardus Gordonius, appears to have been 
Chaucer*s cotemporary. He was a professor of medicine at 
Montpelier, and wrote many treatises in that faculty ^ John 
Gatisden was a lellow of Merton college, where Chaucer was 
educated, about the year 1320^. Pits says, that he was 

** See Leo Oiiticnsis, or P. Diac. and e competent chamber in the monas- 

Auctar, ad Leon. Chron. Mon. Cassin* tery, for the tenn ofliis life. In consi- 

lib. !ii. c. 35. p. 445. Scriptor. Italic, deration of all which concessions, the 

torn. iv. Murator. In his book de In- said Thomas paid them iifty marcs : 

CANTATxoNiBus, one of his inquiriesMs, and moreover is obliged, ** deservire no- 

An invenerhn in Ubru GajEcoauM koc bis in Arte medicifuv, Dat. in dora. Ca- 

qualUer in Imdokum lilfris est invenire, pitul. Feb. 15. A. D. l.*J19.** Registr. 

&c.,Op. torn, i, ut supr. JPriorat. S. Swithiii. Winton, MS. sup .. 

' Petr. Lambec. Prodronu Sac. xiv. citat. The most learned and accurate 

p. 274. edit, ut supr. Fabridus has a separate article on T«*:o- 

• It has been Ijefore observed, that at logi Medici. BiDl. Gr. xii. 739. sc«j. 

the introduction of philo}»ophy into Eu- See also Gianon. Istor. Neapol. 1. x, rh.. 

rope by the Saracens, the^ clergy only xi. § 491. In the romance of Sin Guv,, 

studied and practise^ the inedtcal art. a monk heals the knight's wounds. Sig- 

Tliis fashion prevailed a long -while af- nat. G. iiii. 

ter wards. The Prior and Convent of ,,,, /• i i 1 1 u- n 

15, S»ithm-s at Winchester granted io | '^ Tl^^IT / ' f) T 

Thomas of Sliaftesbury. clerk, a cor. ^ ''*' «»"•'' "* '"'"' '"i/'" «»»« «»*"• 

rody, consisting of two dishes tlaily from In G. of Monmouth, who wrote in 

the Prior's kitchen, bread, drink, robes, ll^fr, Eopa intending to poison AinbruJ 



278 THE HISTORY O* 

professor of pbysic in Oxford*. He was the sust celebrated 
physician of his age in England ; and his principal work is 
entitled Rosa Medica, divided into five books, which was. 
printed at Paris in the year 1492". Gilbertine, I suj^pose:, 
is Gilbertus AngUcus, who flourished in the thirteenth cen- 
tuiy, and wrote a popular compendium of the medical art*. 
About the same time, not many years before Chaucer wrote, 
the works of ^e most bmojis Arabian authors, and among the 
rest those of Avicenne, Averroes, Serapion, and Rfaasis, above 
mentioned, were translated into Latin*. These were our phy- 
»cian's library. But having mentioned his books, Chaucer 
could not forbear to add a stroke of satire so naturally in- 
troduced. 

His studie was but Utel on itie bible. ^ 

The following anecdotes and observations may serve to throw 
general light on tht learning of die authors who compose this 
curious library. The Aristotelic or Arabian philosc^y cch^ 
tiuued to be communicated &om Spain and Afi^ca to the rest. 



' p. 414. 

" Tanaer, BibLp. 313. LelandHjIn 
tlik work, "opus lucul^tum Juita ic 
crudituiD." Script. BiiU p. 355. 

" Conrini;. u[ supr. 8k. liii, cap, t. 
p. 1ST. AndLeliind. ScHpLBiic p.E9l. 
Who Ufs, ibat Gilbert's Fmctica el Com- 
;iMittuni Mcdidna w«» moat carefiiUj 
Mudied bjr maay " ad qiueatum prope- 

about Ihia time, for English students 
abroad to assume the sutuaine Anglian, 
aa a plausible iccouanendalioii. [See 
iiHire of Gilbeitua Angliciu, ibid. p. 
356. — A niiiTJONS. ] 

* Coniing, ut supr. Snc. liii. af, 4. 
I f.lite. About the same dme, the irorics 
' of Galen and Hippocralea were tat 
liSS. Menagiau. p. S3S. In the same translated from Greek into Latin : but 
uiurenity, antiantlj at the admisbion to in a most barbarous stfle. Id. ibid. p. 137. 
the degtee of doctor in physic, they took ' v, 440. 
an OBlh that they vcre no.t tnaiHcs!. 



JBNGLISH POETRY. 279 

of Europe chiefly by means of* the Jews : particularly to France 
and Italy, which were overrun with Jews about the tenth and 
Seventh centuries. About these periods, not only the courts 
of tl^ Mahometan princes, but even that of the pope himself, 
were filled with Jews. Here they principally gained an esta* 
Uiriun^it by the profession of physic; an art then but imper- 
feoAy known and practised in most parts of Europe. Being 
wdl versed in the AraHc tongue, from their commerce with 
Afirica and Egypt, they had studied the Arabic translations of 
Oalen and Hiiq)ocrates; which had become still more familiar 
to the great numbers of their brethren who resided in Spair* 
From this source also the Jews learned philosophy ; and He- 
brew versions made about this period from the Arabic, of Ari- 
stotle and the Greek physicians and mathematicians, are still 
extant in some libraries ^. Here was a beneficial effect of the 
dispersion and vagabond condition of the Jews: I mean the 
diffiisicm of knowte<%e. , One of the most eminent of these 
learned Jews was Moses Maimonides, a physician, philosopher, 
astrologer, and theologist, educated at Cordoua in Spain under 
Averroes. He died about the year 1208. Averroes being ac- 
cused of heretical opinions, was sentenced to live with the Jems 
in the street of ike Jems at Cordoua. Some of these learned 
Jews b^an to flourish in the Arabian schools in Spain, as early 
as the beginning of the ninth century. Many of the treatises 
of Averroes were translated by the Spanish Jews into Hebrew: 
and the Latin pieces of Averroes now extant were translated 
into Latin from these Hebrew versions. I have already men- 
tioned the school or university of Cordoua. Leo Africanus 
speaks of ^^ Platea bibliothecariorum Cordouae." This, from 
what follows, appears to be a street of booksellers. It was in 
the time of Averroes, and about the year 1220. One of our 
Jew philosophers having &llen in love, turned poet, and his 
verses were publicly sold in this sti'eet^. My author say^, 

* Euseb. Rcnaudot. apiid Fabric. * Leo African, de Med. ct Fhitosoph. 
BibL Gr. xii. Ii54. llcbr. c. xxviii. xxix. 



28^ • THEUISTORYOF 

that renouncing the dignity of the Jewish doctor, he took to 
writing verses*. 

The SoMPNOUR, whose office it was to summon uncanonicsU 
offenders into the arqhdeacon's court, where they were very ri- 
gorously punished, is humourously drawn as counteracting his 
profession by his example : he is hbidinous and voluptuous, 
ajid his rosy countenance belies his occupation. This is an 
indirect satire on the ecclesiastical proceedings of those times. 
His affectation of Latin terms, which he had picked up from 
the decrees and pleadings of the court, must have formed a 
character highly ridiculous. 

And whan that he wel dronken had the win, 
Than wold he speken no word but Latine. 
A fewe termes coude he two or three. 
That he had lemed out of som decree. 
No wonder is, he herd it all the day : 
And eke ye knowen wel, how that a jay 
Can clepen watte* as wel as can the pope : 
But whoso wolde in other thing him grope ^, 
Than hadde he spent all his philosophic. 
Ay questio quid juris wolde he crie,** 

He is with great propriety made the friend and companion 
of the Pardonkre, or dispenser of indulgences, who is just 
arrived from the pope, " brimful of pardons come from Rome 
al hote :" and who carries in his wallet, among other holy cu- 
riosities, the virgin Mary's veil, and part of the sail of Saint 
Peter's ship. * 

The MoNKE is represented as more attentive to horses and 
hounds than to the rigorous and obsolete ordinances of Saint 

* Leo, ibid. " Amore capitur, et dioni- * [So edit. 1 56 1 . See Johnson's Dic- 

TATE nocTORUM posTHABiTA cocpit cdcrc tionaiy, in Magpie.— Additions.! 
carmina.** Sec also Simon, in Stippl. ^ examine, 
ad Leon. Mutinens. de lUtib. Hebr. '^ v, 639. 
p. 104. «= V. 670. scq. 



ENGLISH POETKY. 281 

Benedict Such are his ideas of secular pomp and pleasure, 
that he is even qualified to be an abbot ^. 

An outrider that loved venerie ^, 

A manly man, to ben an abbot able : 

Ful many a deinte hors hadde he in stably* — 

This ilke ^ monk lette -old thinges pace. 

And held after the new world tiie trace. 

He yave not of the text a pulled hen* 

That saith, that hunters ben not holy men. ^ 

' He is ambitious of appearing a conspicuous and stately figure 
on horseback. A circumstance represented widi great ele- 
gance. 

And whan he rode, men mighte his bridel here 
GingeUng in a whisding wind, as clere 
And eke as loude, aa doth the chapel beli. * ' 

The gallantry of his riding-dress, and his genial aspect, is 
painted in lively tolours. 

I saw his sieves purfiled™ at the hond. 
With gris", and that the finest of the lond. 
And for to fasten his hode under his chiime 
He hadde of gold y wrought a curious pinne, 
A love-knotte in the greter end ther was. 
His hed was balled, and shone as any glas, 

f There is great humour in the cir- a capital monastery. But Cliaucer, in 

cumstanees which qualify our monk to the verses before us, seems to. have told 

be an abbot. Some time in the thir- the real tru^, and to have given the real 

teenth century, the prior and convent of character as it actually existed in life. 

Saint Swithin*s at Winchester, appear I believe that our industrious cotifrcre, 

to have recommended one of their bre- with all his knowledge of glossing, writ- 

tiiren to the convent of Hyde as a pro- ing, iUuminadxig, dianting, and Bene- 

per pprson to be preferred to the abbacy dict*s rules, would in fact have been less 

of that convent, then vacant. These are likely to succeed to a vacant abbey, than 

his merits. << Est enim confrater ille nos- one of the genial complexion and popu- 

ter in glosanda sacra pagina bene callens, lar accompTisliments here inimitably dc- 

in scriptura [transcribing] peritus, in ca- scribed. 

pjtalibus litcris appingendis bonus arti- ^ hunting. •* same, 

fex, in regula S. Benedict! instructissi- ' " He did not care a straw for the 

mus, psalleiiidi . doctissimus," &c. MS. text,"tScc. 

He;;istr. ut supr. p. 277. These were * v. \76. soq, ' See vol. i. p. 176. 

the ostensible fjiialilicis oC tlie master of "' fringed. " fur. 



^2 THE HISTORY OF 

And eke his fece as it hadde ben anoint : 
[e was a lord fiil&t, and in good poi^L 
eyen stepe, and rolling in his hed, 
That stemed as, a fomeis of a led. 
His botes souple, his hors in gret estat. 
Now certainly he was a &yre prelat ! 
He was not pale as a forpined gost; 
A &t swan loved he best of any rost 
His palfrey was as broune as is a berry.® 

The FuEBE) or friar, is equally fond (^diversion and good 
living; but the ppverty cS his establishment obliges him ta 
travel about the country, and to practise various artifices to 
provide money for his convent, under the sacred character of 
a confessor. 

A frere there was, a wanton and a mery ; 

A limitour P, a fill solempne man : 

In all the ordres foure^ is non that can 

So moche of daliance, and fayre langage. — 

Ful swetely herde he confession : 

Ful plesant was his absolution. 

His tippet was ay &rsed ful of knives 

And pinnes for to given fayre wives. 

And certainly he had a mery note : 

Wei coude he singe and plaien on a rote'. 

^ V. 193. Where ^Ad^ is JUUies, as in Uie Ftol. 

P A friar that had a particular grant CL Oxenf. y. 398. So In the Moman 

for begging or hearing con^Bssions within efjiUxandre, "MSB, BihI. Bodl. ut supr. 

certain limits. See supr. p. 124. seq. fol. i. b. col. 3. 

' of Mendicants. •» i . « . ... 

' In Urry*s Glossary this expression, ^^' '^^^^ ^«*^^» ^ &«^^ ^ siphonie. 

m a Jiote, is explained, 6y Rote, But I cannot help mentioning in thk place, 

arote is a muncal instrument. Lydgate, a pleasant mistake of bishop Mcnrgan, in 

MSS. Fairfax, BibL Bodl. 16. his translation of the New Testament 

1?^. .).».»,.« i>»4»» »^ A i««.».^ intoWdch, printed 1567. He translates 

I'JtZ TA^^mite!: th« Vials of tmrfA, in the B45TeUtions, 
Andekeof ArragonandSpayne. ^^ ^^^^ . J fronds or RddK 

Again, ui the same manuscript, J^^' ^' ^' The Greek is f i«x«/. Now 

It IS probable that the bishop translated 
Harpys, lithelcs, and eke roti/Sy only from the English, where he found 

Wei acccirding to thcr notys. vxals, which he to^k for viols. 



KNOLISK POETRY. 2$3 

Of yeddiiiges* be bfure utterly the pm. — 
Ther n'as no man no wher so vertuous; 
He was the beste heggpv in all his hous^— - 
Somewhat he Uqped for his wantonnesse. 
To make his English swete upon his tonge; 
And in his harping) whan th^t he hadde songe^ 
His eyen twipl^eled in his h^ aright 
As don the i^tarres in a frosty ni^t^ 

With these unhallowed and untrue sons of the church id 
contrasted the Parsoune, or parish-priest: in describing 
whose sanctity, simplicity, sincerity, patience, industry, cou* 
rage, and conscientious impartiality, Chaucer shews his good 
s^S^ and good heart Dryden imitated this character of the 
Goo^ Parson, and is said to have applied it to bishop Ketu 

The character of the Squire teaches us the education and 
requisite accomplishments of young gentlemen in the gallant; 
reign of Edward the Third. But it is to be remembered, that 
our squire is the son of a knight, who has performed feats of 
chivalry in every part of the world ; which the poet thus enu- 
merates with great dignity and simplicity. 

At Alisandre' he was whan it was wonne, 

Ful often time he hadde the bord begonne^, 

Aboven all^ nations in Pruce'^. 

In Lettowey hadde he reysed and in Ruce; « 

No cristen man so ofte of his degre 

In Gemade, at the siege eke hadde he be 

' yelding, i.e. dalliance. [ThePrompt, ^-Bad his marsiiall o£ lu's hall 

Parv, makes yedding to be the same as To setten him in such dcgre, 

gette which it explains thus : geett or That be upon him myght se. 

Tomauncet gestio. So that of veddinges The kyng was soone sette and served : 

ipay perhaps mean of story-telung. T. And he wluch \is^ his ])ris>c deserved, 

' convent. After tlie kyngis own worde, 

" V. 208. Was made beg^ a myddle bsmle* 

^ See this phrase explained above, rf».i «. * j • .u ..,. 

p. 5, note K I wiU here add a simil T^f*'^ "'«= ''" '^ xJ^J°^^H 

L expre«ion from Gower, Conf. " the taWe, a place of dwUnction and 

Amant. lib. viii. fol. 177, b. edit Ber- " | i :.i,...„i. » ^W". 

thcl. 1551, "Lithuania. » Russia. 



284> THE HISTORY OF 

Of Algesir*, and ridden in Belmarie''- 

At Leyes ^ was he, and at Satalie**, 

Whan they were wonne : and in the grete see : 

At many a noble armee hadde he be : 

At mortal batailies had he ben fiftene, 

And foughten for our faith at Tramissene* 

In lystes thries, and ay slain his fo. ^ 

This ilk^ worthy Knight hadde bep also 

Sometime witli the lord of Palatie^ : 

A<ren^ another hethen in Turkie. 

And evermore he hadde a sovereine pris, 

And though that he was worthy he was wise. ^ 

The poet in some of these lines implies, that after the Chris- 
tians were driven out of Palestine, the English knights of his 
days joined the knights of Livonia and Prussia, and attacked 
the pagans of Lithuania, and its adjacent territories. Lithu- 

" A city of Spain ; perhaps Gibraltar. <* A city in Anatolia, called Atalia. 

[Algesiras ; a Spanish town on the op- Many of these places are mentioned in 

posite side of the bay of Gibraltar.— the history of the Crusades. 

£niT.] [The gulf and castle of Satalia are 

^ S|)eght supposes it to be that country mentioned by Benedictus Abbas, in the 

in Barbary which is called Benamarin. Crusade under the year 1 191. ** £t cum 

It is mentioned again in the Kmour's rex Francis recessisset ab Antiochet, 

Tale, t. 2632. p, 20. Urr. statim intravit gulfum Sathalijs.— ^Sa- 

Ne in BatmarU ther is no lion, THAUJECasteUum est opthnum, unde 

That huntid is, &c. ^^^ ^^^ "*^™*" accepit ; et KUiW gul- 

^ ' fum ilium sunt duo Castella et Vilke, et 

By which at least we may conjecture it utruraque dicitur Satai.ia. Sed unum 

to be some country in Africa. Perhaps illorum est desertum, et dicitur Vetus 

a corruption for Barbarie. [Froissart Sataua quod piratae destruxerunt, et 

reckons it among the kingdoms of alterum Nova Satalia dicitur, quod 

Africa : Thunes, Bovgie, Maroch, Bel- Manuel imperator Constantinopolis fir- 

lemarine, Tremessen. The batUe of Be- mavit." Vit. et Gest. Henr. et Kic. ii. 

namarin is said by a late author of Viage p. 680. Afterwards he mentions Mare 

de EsiMniHit p. 73. n. 1. to have been ho Greecumt p. 683. Tliat is, the Mediter- 

called : *' por haber quedallo en ella Al- ranean from Sicily to Cyprus. I am in- 

Ixriiacen, Rey de Marruccos del linage clined, in the second verse following, to 

de Aben Marin.** Perhaps therefore read ♦* Greke «e<i.** i>^ is the town of 

the dominions of that family in Africa Layas in Armenia.—* Admtions.] 

miffht be called abusively Benamarin, ^ « In the holy war a^ Thrasimene, a 

and by a further corruption Belmarie. city in Barbary." ' 

— T.J ' Palathia, a cily in AnatoKa. Sye 

^ iSome-Luppose it lo be Lavlstfa, acity Froissart, iii. 40. 

on the contiuenC, near Rhodes. Others ^ aj^ainst. 

I.ybisbH, a city of Biti)ynia. •* v. 51. 



ENGLtSH POETRY. 285 

I 

ania was not converted to Christianity till towards the close of 
the fourteenth century. Prussian targets are mentioned, as 
we have before seen, in the Knight's Tale. Thomas duke 
of Gloucester, youngest son of king Edward the Third, and 
Henry earl of Derby, afterwards king Henry the Fourth, tra- 
velled into Prussia : ai\d in conjunction widi the grand Masters 
and Knights of Prussia and Livonia, fought the infidels of Li- 
thuania. Lord Derby was greatly instrumental in taking Vilna, 
the capital of that coimtry, in the year 1 390 K Here is a seem- 
ing compliment to some of these expeditions. This invincible 
and accomplished champion afterwards tells the heroic tale of 
Palamon and Arcite. His son the Squier, a youth of twenty 
years, is thus delineated. 

And he hadde be somtime in chevachie ^ 

In Flandres, in Artois, and in Picardie : 

And borne him wel, as of so litel space, 

In hope to stonden in his ladies grace. 

Embrouded was he as it were a mede 

AUe fid of freshe flbures white and rede. 

Singing he was or floytyng alle the day. 

He was as frieshe as is the moneth of May. 

Short was his gouhe with sieves long and wide, 

Wel coude he sitte on hors, and feyre ride. 

He coude songes make, and wel endite. 

Juste, and eke dance, and well pourtraie, and write. ^ 

To this young man the poet, with gi'eat observance of deco- 
rum, gives the tale of Cambuscan, the next in knightly dignity 
to that of Palamon and Arcite. He is attended by a yeoman, 
whose figure revives the ideas of the forest laws. [ 

And he was cladde in cote and hode of grene : 
A shefFof peacocke arwes bright and kene. * 

^ See Hakluyt*s Voyages, i. 122. seq. Ciclinius riding in his ckmmckie 

edit 1598. See also Hidduyt*8 account From Venus. -_«-.—— 

of the conquest of Prussia by the Dutch ^ v. 85* 

KnightsHospitalaries of Jerusalem, ilHd. * Comp. Gul. Waynflete, episc; Win* 

* Chivalry, riding, exercises of hone- ton. an. 1471. (supr. citat.) Among the 

manship, Compl. Mar. Yen. v. 144. stores of the bishop's castle of Farnham.- 



'Zt^ THE HIST6RY OP 

Undo* his belt he baris fill diriflify : 
Wd CDiide he dre&se his takel yemtely : 
His arwes drouped not with feAeres lowe i 
And in his hond he bare ami^ity bowe. 
Upon his aim he bare a gaie bracer"*^ 
And by his side a swerd and a bdceler.— * 
A Cristofire*^ on his brest of silver sbene : 
A home he bare, the bandrik was of grene.^ 

d%e charaqter of the Rebve, an officer of mudi greater trust 
and authority during the feudal constitution than at present, is 
b^ipily pictured. His attention to the care and custody of the 
manors, the produce of which was then kept in hand for fiur* 
nishii]^ his lord's table, perpetually employs his time, preys 
iqpon his thoughts, and makes him lean and choleric. He is 
the terror of bailiffs and hiiids : and iis remarkable for his cir« 
cmnspection, vigilance, and subtlety. He is never in arrears, 
«nd no auditor is able to over-reach or detect him iii his ac- 
coants: yet he makes more commodious purchases for himself 
Aan for his master, without forfeiting the good will or bounty 
cf the latter. Amidst these strokes of satire, Chaucer's genius 
fiir descriptive painting breaks forth in this simple and beauti* 
fid descriptioii of the Reeve's riiral habitation. 

» 

His wohiiingP was fill fayre upon an heth, 
With grene trees yshadewed was his place.** 

In the Clerke of Oxekforde our author glances at the 

ArcM cum diordis, Et red. comp. de to ^ bishop's vassals temjxtre guerre* 

zxiT. arcubus cum xxiv. chordis de re- Under the same title occur cross-bows 

inanentia.—&i£t/te magvup. EtdecxliT. inadeofhom. Arrotirs with feathers of 

lagitds magnis barbatis cum pennis pa^ the peacock occur in Lydgate*s Chronic 

vommi.** In a Compuiui of bishop Ger- de of Troy, B. iii. cap. 23. sign. O iii. 

irays, episc Wmton. an. 1266. (supr. edit. 1555. foL 
citat.) among the stores of the bishop's .^ ^ 

tai«le of Taunton, one of the heads or of lfa«^^h!S?i^ 

styles is, Cauda pamtum, which I sup- V^ Boone, why* mth their arrows kene, 

pose were used for feathering arrows. ^^ T*** ^*?"" ®^ pecocke fireshe and 

In the artides of ^mo, which are part of "'®"®' **^- 

the episcopal stores of the said castle, I "' armour fbr the aTm& 

find enumerated one thousand four hun- " A ^^dnt who presided orer the wes- 

dr^ and twenty-one gi^ arrows for ther. The patron of field sports. 

crdBs-bows, remaining over ajid above ** v. 103. 

three hundred ilnd seventy.6ne delivered " dwelling. ^ v. 60S, 



inattention paid to literature, and the ui^reifilaUen^ss of phi^- 
losopby. He is emaciated with study) clad in a thread^bar^ 
cloak, and rides a steed lean as a rake. 

For be badde geten bim yet no beiiefioe, 
Ne was nougbt worldly to bave an office : 
For bim was lever' ban at bis beddes bed 
A twenty bokes, clotbed in black or red. 
Of Aristotle and bis pbilosopbie, 
Then robes riche, or fidel*, or sautrie : 
But allbe that he was a pbilosophre, 
Yet badde be but litel gold in cofire. ^ 

His unwearied attention to logic had tmctured bis ccmver* 
totion with mudi pedantic formality, and taught bim to speak 
<m all subjects in a precise and sententious sQrle.* Yet bis 
conversation was instructive: and be was lio less willing ttf 
•olmlit than to communicate his opinion to others. 

Souning in moral vertue was bis speche. 
And gladly "^olde be leme, and gladly tecbe. ^ 

The perpetual importance of the Serjeant of Laws, who 
by habit or by affectation has the faculty cf appearing busy 
when he has nothing to do, is sketched witb tbe spurit and 
conciseness of Horace. 

No wher so besy a man as be ther n'as, 
And yet he semed besier than he was. ^ 

' rather. these lines : ** In forme and rerefeoce : " 

* 6ddQe. See supr. p. 282, note '. with pri^riety and modesty. In the 
< V. 293. Or it may be explained, nextlme, "lulof high sentence** means 

" Tet he could not find me philosopher's only, I apprehend, mil of hiffh or exceU 

stone." lent sense. Mr. Warton will excuse me 

* [This opinion is founded on the fol- for suggesting; these explanatiotas of tfai^ 
lowing passage : passage in heu of those which he ha* 

?S'^Jr'^^"^5^^T^^ sr^efuu^Ll^uidTi^ 

And that was said in forme and reve. supposed to have made a jjedantic for- 
A j*?*^ ^ J -1. J A 1 ^ 1.1^1. mafity and a precise sententious stde on 
And shwt tnd qmcke and ftil of high aU subjects the characteristics of a scho- 

»~**»^- kr.— TTawHrrr.] " V. SOO. 

Mr. l^rwhitt has giren a ba}^ier and un- ^ y» S28. He is said to hiivd « Mn 
questionably a correcter interpretation of yben at the parvise.'^ ▼. 912, It k nbl 



288 THE HISTORT OF 

There is some humour in making our lawyer introouce th^ 
language of his pleadings into common conversation. He ad- 
dresses the hoste, 

Hoste, quotli he, de pardeuji! jeo assent.^ 

The affectation of talking French was indeed general, but it 
is here appropriated and in character. 

Among the rest, the character of the Hoste, or master of 
the Tabarde inn where the pilgrims are assembled, is conspi- 
cuous. He has much good sense, and discovers great talents 
for managing and regulating a large company ; and to him we 
are indebted for the happy proposal of obliging every pilgrim 
to tell a story during their journey to Canterbury. His inter- 
positions between the tales are very useful and enlivening ; and 
he is something like the chorus on the Grecian stage. He is 
of great service in encouraging each person to begin his party 
in conducting the scheme with spirit, in making proper obser- 
vations on the merit or tendency of the several stories, in set- 
tling disputes which must naturally arise in the course of such 
an entertainment, and in connecting all the narratives into one 
continued system. His love of good cheer, experience in mar- 
shalling guests, address, authoritative deportment, and facetious 
disposition, are thus expressively displayed by Chaucer. 

Gret chere made our Hoste everich on, 
And to the souper sefte he us anon ; 

xny de^gn to enter into the djspute<« con- from Paradise. This perhaps signified 
ceming the meaning or etymology of an ambulatory. Many of our old reli- 
parpts : from which jmrvisia, the name gious houses had a place called Paradise, 
for the public schools in Oxford, is de- Ip the year 1300, children were taught to 
rived. But I will observe, that ])arvb is read and sing in the Parvis of St. Mar- 
mentioned as a court or portico before tin's church at Norwich. Blomf. Norf. ii. 
the church of Notre Dame at Paris, in 748. Our Serjeant is afterwards said to 
John de Meun*8 part of the Roman de have recrfved many fees and robest ▼• 31 9.. 
la Rose, v. 12529. The Serjeants and all tlic officers of the 
A Paris n'eiist hommes ne femme superior courts of law, antiendy received 
Au jHtrvis devant Nostre Dame. winter and summer robes from the kind's 

The passage is thus translated by Chau- '*^^"*5-. ?L'' ^^f^^r "^"^.i^^Jl 

rf.or n)v«r -a « '7Mi'7 cases and decisions, '**that from the Cunfe 

cer. ttom. K. v. 7X57. ^^^^^ W^iUiam were full,** v. 326. • For 

Thjr n as no wight m aU Fans this ;ine see the very learned and inge- 

Before our Ladie at Parvis. ^ious Mr. Barrington*s Observations on 

The wordjs sui^fiosed to be contracted the antient Statutes. * v. 309. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 289 

And served us with vitaille of the beste : 
Strong was his win, and wd to drinke us lester. 

A semely man our Hoste was with alle 

For to hail ben a marshal in a halle. 

A large man he was, with eyen stepe, 

A fiurer biirgeis is ther aon in Chepe. ' 

Bold of his speche, and wise, and wel y taught. 

And of manhood him lacked righte naught. 

Eke therto was he right a mery man, &c. ^ 

Chaucer's scheme of the CANTEiaBURY Tales was evidently 
left unfinished. It was intended by our author, that every pilr 
grim should likewise tell a Tale on their return from Canter** 
bury*'* A poet who lived soon after the Canterbury Tales 
made their appearance, seems to have designed a supplement 
to this deficiency, and with this view to have written a Tale 
called the Marchaunt's Second Tale, or the EbsTORY op 
Beryn.. It was first printed by Uriry, who supposed it to be 
Chaucer's ^ *In the Prologue, which is of considerable lengthy 
there is some humour and contrivance : in which the author, 
happily enough, continues to characterise the pilgrims, by 
imagining what each did, and how each behaved, when they 
all arrived at Canterbury. Ailer dinner was ordered at their 
inn, they all proceed to the cathedral At entering the church 
one of the monks sprinkles them vrith holy water* Tlie Knight 

y "we liked.'* , in the best manuscript of the Cai^ek- 

* CHeapside. ' bvrt Tales, MSS. Harl. 1758. fol. 

. * ProL V. 749. metnbran. Tliese Talks were supposed 

^ Or rather, two on their way thither, to be tpokeuj not vyriitent But we have 

and two on thebr return. Only Chaucer in the Plowman's, " For my waniwa 

himself tdb two tales. The poet says, me allow." y. 3309. Urr. And in other 

that there were twenty-nine pflgrims in places. " For my weitino if I bare 

company! but in the Characters he blame.*'— '< Ofmy writing have me ex. 

describes more. Among ^e Talks which cus*d." etc. See a Norx at the begixi- 

remain, there are none of the Prioresse's ning of the Cant. Tales, MSS. Laudi 

Chetplaiiis, the Haberdasher, Carpynter, K. 50. BibL BodL written by John Bar- 

Webbe, Dyer, TajHser, and Hoste. The cham. But the discussion of these points 

Chanon's Yeman has a Talk, but no properly belongs to an editor of Chaucer. 

Craeactkr. The Plowman's Tale is [See Mr. lyrwhitt's Introductort Di»- 

certainly supposititious. Seesapr.p.142. coirRsxtotheCanteibury Tales.— 'Edit.] 
And Obs. Spens. ii. 217. It is omitted ^ Urr. Chauc- p. 595. 

VOL. II. y 



290 THE HISTORY OF 

with the better sort of the company goes in great orcter to the 
shrine of Thomas a Becket. The Miller and his contpanions 
run staring about the church : they pr^end to bla2(»i the arms 
painted in the glass windows, and enter iiitaa dispute in he- 
raldry : but the Hoste of the Tabarde reproves them for their 
improper behaviour and impertinent discourse, and directs 
them to the martyr's shrine* When all had finished their 
devotions, they return to the inn. In the way thither they 
purchase toys for which that city was &mous, called Canterbury 
brochisj and here much facetiousness passes betwixt the Frere 
and the Sompnour, in which the latter vows revenge on the 
former, for telling a Tale so palpably levelled at his profession, 
and protests he will retaliate on thdr return by a more severe 
fttory. When dinner is ended, the Hoste of the Tabarde 
thanks all the company in form for their several Tales. The 
party then separate till supper-time by ngreement. The Knight 
goes to survey the walls and bulwarks of the city, and explains 
to his son the Squier the nature and strength of them. Men- 
tion is here made of great guns. The Wife of Bath is too 
weary to walk far; she proposes to the Prioresse to divert 
ti^mselves in the garden, which abounds vdth herbs proper 
for making salves. Otliers wsuider about the streets. Hie 
Paordoner has a low adventure, which ends much to his dis- 
grace. The next morning they proceed on thdr return to 
Scmtiiwark: and our genial master of the Tabarde, just as 
they leave Canterbury, by way of putting the company into good 
humour, begins a panegyric on the morning and the month of 
April, some lines of wlidch I shall quote, as a specimen of our 
author's abilities in poetical description. ^ 

Lo ! how the.seson of the yere, and Averell** shouris, 
Doith ^ the bushis burgyn ^ out blossomes and flouris. 
liO ! the prymerosys of die yere, how fresh they bene to sene. 
And many othir flouris among the grassis gretie* 

• , ' * * 

- ^ There is a good description of a ma- <* A|nil. ' make* 

gical palace, y. 1973— >2076. 'shoot. 



ENGLISH PaET»Y. 



^1 



Lo ! how they sprmge and sprede, and of divefs hue, 
Beholdith and seith, both white, red, and blue. 
That lusty *bin and comfortabyll for mannis sight, 
For I say for mysetf it makith my hert to light.^ 

On casting lots, it falls to the Marchaunt to tell the first 
tale, which then follows. I cannot allow that this Prologue 
and Tale were written by Chaucer. Yet I believe them to be 
nearly coeval. 



u 2 



292 THE HISTORY OF 



SECTION XVIII. 



xT is not my intention to dedicate a volume to Chaucer, how 
much soever he may deserve it; nor can it be expected, that, 
in a work of this general nature, I should enter into a critical 
examination of all Chaucer's pieces. Enough has been said 
to prove, that in elevation, and elegance, in harmony and per- 
spicuity of versification, he surpasses his predecessors in an in- 
finite proportion: that his genius was universal, and adapted 
to themes of unbounded variety : that his merit was not less in 
painting fiuniliar manners with humour and propriety, than in 
moving the passions, and in representing the beautiM or the 
grand objects of nature with grace and sublimity. In a word, 
that he speared with all the lustre and dignity of a true poet, 
in an age which compelled him to struggle with a barbaroas 
language, and a national want of taste ; and when to write verses 
at all, was regarded as a singular qualification. It is true, in- 
deed, that he lived at a time when the French and Italians had 
made considerable advances and improvements in poetry : and 
although proofs have already been occasionally given of his 
imitations fi*om these sources, I shall close my account of him 
with a distinct and comprehensive view of the nature of the 
poetry which subsisted in France and Italy when he wrote: 
pointing out, in the mean time, how far and in what manner the 
popular models of those nations contributed to form his taste, 
and influence his genius. 

I have already mentioned the troubadours of Provence, and 
have observed that they were fond of moral and allegorical 
fables^. A taste for this sort of composition they partly ac- 
quired by reading Boethius, and the Psychomachia of Pru- 

• See vol. i. p. 151. seq. 



1CNGLI8H P0£TIIY. 293 

:" dentins, two &vorite clashes of the dark ages : and partly from 
' tl^ Saracens their neighbours in Spain, who were great inven- 
' tors of apologues. The French have a very early metrical ro- 
mance De Fortune et de Felicite, a translation bom Boe- 
;thius's book de Consolatione, by Rejmault de Louehs a Do- 
minican friar ^. From this source, among many others of the 

• Provencial poems, came the Tournament of Antichrist above 

• mentioned, which* contains a combat of the Virtues and Vices ^ : 
•the RcHnauntof Richard de Lisle, in which Modesty fighting 

with LusT*^ is thrown into the river Seine at Paris : and, above 
all, the RoMAUNT of the Rose, translated by Chaucer, and 
already mentioned at large in its proper place. Visions were 
:a branch of this spedes of poetry, which admitted the most 
licentious excursions of fancy in forming personificationis, and 
in feigning imaginary beings and ideal habitations. Under these 
we may rank Chaucer's House of Fame, which I liave before 
hinted to have been probably the production of Provencef. 

^ See Mem. lit. torn, xviii. p. 741. stance of imitatioii be produced, I shaU 

4to. And torn. vii. 293. 294. I have be- be slow to believe, that in either be ever 

ifore iQentioned John of Mean's trans- copied the poets of Provence; witn 

latton of Boethius. It is in verse. John whose works, I apprehend, be had very 

de Lang^es is said to have made a trans- little, if any acquaintance.** vol. i. Ap- 

^lation in prose, about 1336. It is highly pend. Prbp. p. xixvL I have advanced 

probable that Chaucer translated fioe- the contrary doctrine, at least by impli- 

. thius from some of the French fransla- cation : and I here beg lea?e to expUki 

tions. In the Bodleian library there is myself <m a subject materially affecting 

an £xPLANATio of Boethii|8*s Coksola- the system of criticism that has been form- 

• TiON by our countryman I<^ichplas Tri- ed on Chaucer*8 works. I have never 

vett, who died before 1329f affirmed, that Chaucer imitated the Pro- 

^ See supr. p. 121. vendal bards; although it i? by no means 

^ PuTERiE. Properly Bawdry, Ob- improbable, ^at he might have known 

scenity. Mode9(T is drowned in the their tales. Bitf as the peculiar nature 

river, which gives occasion to this con- of the Provendal poetry entered deeply 

elusion, ** Dont vien qu^ plus n*y a into the substance, cast, and character, 

HoNTK dans ^aris.** Ilie author lived of spm9 of those French and Itidian 

about the year 13Q0* models, which he is allowed to have fol- 

f [The ingenious editor of the Cak- lowed, he certainly mav be said to have 

TERBUKT Tales treats the notion, that copied, although not unmediately, the 

Chaucer imitated the Frovepdal poets, matter and manner of these wnters. I 

as totally void of foundation. He says, have called his House of Fame orisi- 

" I have not observed in any of his writ- nally a Provendal composition. I md 

ings a single phrase or word, which has not mean that it was written by a Pro- 

the least appearance of having been * vencial troubadour : but that Chaucer's 

fetched from the South of the X«oire. original was compounded of the cajm- 

, With respect to the manner ai^d matter cious mode of fabling, and that extrava- 

of his compositions, till some clear in- gant style of fiction, which constitute the 



294 THG HISTOEY OF 

But the tvincipai subject of tbdb: poemS} dictated in great 
measure by the spirit of cbivaby, was love: especially among 
the troubadours of rank and distiuctioD, whose castles being 
crowded with ladies, presented perpetual scenes of the most 
^lendid gallantry. Thb passion they spiritualised into various 
meti^hysical refinonents, and filled it with abstracted notions 
of visionary perfection and felicity* Here too they were per- 
haps influenced by their neighbours the Saracens, whose ^li- 
losophy chiefly consisted of fentastic abstractions. It is mani- 
fest, however, that nothing can lexceed the profound pedantry 
with which they treated this fevorite argument They d^ned 
the essence and characteristics of true love with all the parade 
of a Scotist in his professorial chair: and bewildered their ima- 
ginations in speculative questions concerning the most despe- 
rate or the most happy situations of a sincere and sentimental 
hearts But it would be endless, and indeed ridiculous, to 
describe at length the systematical solemnity with which they 
cloathed this passion ^ The Romaunt of the Rose, which I 
have just alledged as a prpof of their allegorising turn, is not less 
an instance of their affectation in writing on this subject: in which 
the poet, under the agency of allegorical personages, displays 
the gradual approaches and impediments to fruition, and intro- 

CMOice of tiie BrofencUl poetry. As lapUiscmioueetlaphubele,inio}aibed!' 

to tiie Fix>uBK AWD TBB Lbafk, w&kh chamber, avec ce chevaHer gfftr. Mem. 

Dryden pronounces to hare been com- Cheval. ut supr. torn. ii. p. 7a Not 17. 

posed «^^ thnrmarmer, it is ftamed on ' This infatuation continued among 

the old allegorising spirit of the Fh>Ten- the French down to modem times. «Les. 

cial writers, refiim and dis6gured by sens de quality" says the ingenious M. 

the fopperies of the French poets in tl^ de la Cunie de Sainte Palaye, «conser- 

fourteentli century. Hie ideas of these voient encore ce go^t que leurs p^ies 

W^ftn had be^n so strongly imbibed, avoient pris dans nos andennes couis : 

that they continued to operate long after ce fut sans donte pour complaire a son 

Petrardi had introduced a more rational ftmdateur, que 1* Academic Fran9oise 

method of composition.'— ADDinoKs.] traita, dans ses premiers s^nces, plu- 

^ In the mean time the greatest liber- sieurs sujets qui concenunent 1* Anoua ; 

ties and indecencies were practised and et Ton vit encore dans Fhotel du Lon- 

encouraged. These doctrines did not in- gueville ks personnes les pliis qualift^ 

Suenoe me manners of the times; In an et le plus siuritualles du siede de Louis 

old French tale, a countess in the ab- XIV. se disputera qui commenteroit et 

sence of her lord having received a raffinermt le mieux sur la deUcatesse du 

Ugbt into her cntle, and conductedhim coeur et des sentimens, a qui feroit, sur 

in great state t6 his repose, wiU not suf- ce chapitre, les distinctions le plus sub- 

fer him to sleep alone : with infinite po- tiles.** Mem.. Coeval, ut supr. tom. ii. 

Kteness she orders one of her damsels, P. ▼. pag. 17« « 



English poetry. 695 

duces a regular disputation c(mducted with much formality b^ 
tween Reason and a lover. , Chaucer's Testament of Lovii 
is also formed on this philosophy of Gallantry. It is a lover's 
parody of Boethius*s book De Consolatione mentioned above*. 
His poem called La Belle Dame sans Mercy*, and his 
Assemble of Ladies, are from the same school: Chaucer'ii 
pRioRESSE and Monke, whose lives were devoted to religious 
reflection and the most serious engagements, and while they are 
actually travelling on a pilgrimage to visit the shrine of a sainted 
martyr^ openly avow the imiversal influence of love. They 
exhibit, on their apparel, badges entirely inconsistent with their 
profession, but easily accountable for from these principles. 
The Prioresse wears a bracelet on which is inscribed^ with a 
crowned A, Amor vincit omniaK The Monke ties his hood 
with a true-lover's knot ^ The early poets of Provence, as I 
before hinted, formed a society called the Court of Love, 
which gave rise to others in Gascony, Languedoc, Poictou, 
and Dauphiny : and Picardy, the constant rival of Provence, 
had a similar institution called Plaids et Qieux sous fOrmet. 
These establishments consisted of ladies and gentlemen of the 
highest rank, exercised and approved in courtesy, who tried 
with the most consummate ceremony, and decided with supreme 
authorily, cases in love brought before dieir tribunal. Martial 
d'Avergne,^ an old French poet, for the diversion and at the 
request of the countea^ of Beaujeu, wrote a poenf entitled 
Arresta amorum, or the Decrees of Lovjb, wjiich is a hur 
mourous description of tlie Plaids of Picardy. Fpntenelle has 
recited one of their processes, which conveys an idea of all the 
rest'. A queen of France was appealed tp from an unjust 

< Translated or imitated from a French ^le, that the latter should have translated 
poem of Alain Chartier, v. 11. any thing of his. In MS. Harl. 372. La ' 

Which M«Bd,Al.y»e«»deof»n»„. T^^^^'Sw^rKy!! 

Chief «=yu. the king of F«nc. ^S^^^K^c^^^ll^^^ 

He was secretary to Charles the Sixth *^ So is Gower's Confessio Amantis, 

and Seventh. But he is chiefly famous as we shall see hereafter, 

for his prose. [ Alain Chartier was cer- * v. 162. * v. 197. 

tainly living ne^x fifty years after Chau- ' Hist. Theat. Franc, p. 15. torn. iii. 

cer's death, which makes it quite incredi- Oeuvr. Paris, 1742. 



296 THE HISTORY OF 

I 

t 

sentence pronounced in the love-pleas, where the countess of 
Champagne presided. The queen did not chuse to interpose 
in a matter of so much consequence, nor to reverse the decrees 
of a court whose decision was absolute and finaL She answered, 
<^ God forbid, that I should prestpne to contradict the sentence 
of the countess of Champagne!" This was abopt the year 1206. 
Chaucer has a poem called the Coui^t of Lovi;, which is 
nothing more than the love-court of Provence " : it ppntains the 
twenty statutes which thfit court prescribed to be universally 
observed under the severest penaltiies^. Not Icmg afterwards, 
on the same principle, a society ^as established in Languedoc^ 
called the Fraternity of the Penitents^ of Love. Enthusiasm 
was here carried to as high a pitch of extravagance as ever it 
was in religipn. It was a contention of ladi^ and gentlemen, 
who should best sustain the honour of their apiorops ^inaticism. 
Their object was to prove the excess of their lov^ by sh^wmg 
with an invincible fortitude and consist^cy of conduct, with 
no less obstinapy of opinion, that th^y cpi)14 b^ar extremes <^ 
heat f^id cold* Accordingly the resolute knights and esquires^ 
tl^e dames and damsels, who had the hardiness to embrace this 
severe i^stitutipn, dressed themselves during the beat of summ^ 
m the thickest mantles lined with the warmest fiir. In this they 
demonstrated, accordmg to the antient poets, that love wprl^ 

" See also Chaucer's tbv CoipcAKp- p. 45. s^. Not xix. But for a com- 

HINTS OT. Loy^ V^ 5^ Urr. pl^ account of tkese fnsdtutions, and 

** Vie de Petrarque, torn. U. Kot xix. other ourioys particulars rel^ng to the 

p. 60. ' Probably the Cour d^ Amour was antient manners and antient poetry of 

the origin of that called La Cmr Atno^ the French, the public waits with impa^ 

reutey established under the gallant reign tience for tiie history of the Provendal 

of Charles the Sixth, in the^ year 14ia poets written by Mons. de la Cume de 

T|ie latter had ^<^ most considerable Sainte Palaye, who has copied most <^ 

families of France Jbrtts members, and their manuscripts with great cafe and 

^ parade of grand officers, like those in exjience. ^The only apthenti^ source 

the royal bousfiold ^nd court's of law. of information on this sybje^t is • work 

See Hist. Acad. Inscript. Tom. vii, written about the year 11 70 and publish- 

p. 287. seq. 4to. See also Hist. X«n- ed (among other plac^) at Dorpmund 

gued. tom. iii. p. 25, seq. 1610. iSrotica seu Amatoria Andres 

llie most umfoiin and unembarrassed capellarii regis &c See Roquefort's 

^ew of the establishment and usages of Poesies des Troubadours, Yon Aretins 

this Court, which I can at present re- Auspriiche der Minnegerichte and Miin-, 

collect, is thrown tosetlier from scattered cher 1813 and No. II. chF the Retrospect 

and scarce roaterijJs by the ingenious tive Ueview.— -Edit.] 

author of Vir. de PKruARQUE, tom. jL ' 



ENGLISH poetry; ^7 

the most wondeif al and extracHrdinary dianges* In winter, 
their love again perverted the nature of the seasons: they then 
doathed themselves in the lightest and thinnest stuffi whidi 
cocdd be procured. It was a crime to wear fur on a day of 
the most piercing cold ; or to appear with a hood, doak, gloves, 
or muff. The flame of love kept them sufficiently warm* Fires, 
all the winter, were utterly banished from their houses ; and 
they dressed their apartments with evergreens. In the most 
intense frost their beds were covered only with a piece of can- 
vass. It must be ranembered, that in the mean time they passed 
the greater part of the day abroadt ip wapdering about from 
castle to castle ; insomuch, that many of these devotees, during 
so deq)erate a pilgrimage, perished by the indemency of the 
weather, and died miptyrs to their profession p. 

The early universality of the Fr^ch langu^e greatly coptn- 
buted to &cilitate the circulation of the poetry of the trouba- 
dours in other countries. The Prankish language was &miliar 
even at Constantinople and its dependent provinces in the 
eleventh century, and long aflerwards. Raymond Montanie^p, 
an historian of Catalonia, who wrote about the year 1 SOO, says, 
that the French tongue was as well known in the Morea and 
at Athens as at Paris. <^ E parlavan axi belle Francis com 
dins en Paris ^/' The oldest Italian poetry seems to be found- 
ed on that of Pirovence. The word Sonnet was adopted from 
the French into the Italian versification. It occurs in the 
Roman de la Rose, " Lais d'limour et Sonnuts courtois T.'* 
Boccacio copied many of his best Tales from the troubadours *^ 

' See p. Vaisette, Hist dul^angu^ fortutsupr.p. 172,] He wrote « French 

doc, torn. iy. p. 184. seq. ronumce, in Terse, called the Seven Saget 

* Compare p. 145. Nf>te ^. Ifist. of Greece, or Ihlopathosm Hetransbted 
Arragonr c. 26}, UfiromtbeLttinof Doni Johansyamonk: 

^ ▼• 720. of the abbey of Haute-selTe. 

• Particularly from Rutebeuf and ryT^^ w«„^ ™^;„« a^ Iw.1o «;*. 

TTj r»ri.i» !•• '^ au^ lUns Qlancs moine oe bele vie 

Berbers. Hut^uf was Uvmff m the »-j^ tt«ite-Selvc Vabeie 

year ISia He wrote tales and stpries a n^« Wc^il! t^^L 

l/i • _^ . ^ . T^ . 1^. * A ceste bistoire novelee 

of entertammeiu m y^rse. It is certain p_ . , , ^ „ ordpnee 

tliat Boccacio took, from this old French ^jurpei laon i a oraenee 

«:« tCJ vr '*~*» ':"^ -♦" ™ i 21^ Herbert le velt en romans traire 

minstrel, Nov. x. Giocq. ix. And per- -p. ,^ ««*,-«« ».« !;«..« «.;»*. i 

. ,. ^, ..L tT _i- 1*^ J ■C't de romans un ijvre laire. I 

baps two or three others. Herbers lived J 

about the year 1 i!00. [ 1 260. 1^ Roque- It has great variety, and contains several 



998 THE HlfiVOnY OF 

Several of Dante's fictions are derhred from the same fountain^ 
Dante has honoured someof themwidiaseatmhis IWadise*: 

ami in his tract Db Vulgari Eloquentia, has mentioned 

Thi^Miiilt king of Navarre as a pattern for writing poetry^ 

With regard to Dante's capital work the Inferno, Raoul de 
Houdane^ a Provendal [French] bard about the year 1180, 
wrote a poem entitled, Le Voye ou le Songe d'Enfeb^. 
Both Boccacio and Dante studied at Paris, where diey much 

iigraeable skorieSf .pleasant advetitiircsy own UtUe story-bocJ^ ^ fioKTiK Wis* 

emblems, and proverbs. Boccacio has Mastz&s : except that, instead of Dio- 

Ittkea from it four Tides, viz, Nov. iL clesian of Rome, the king is called Crmus 

Giom. iiL Not. iv. Criom. Tii. Nov. viiL of Pkaslp; and, instead of one Tale» 

Giom. viiL And the Tale of the Boy each of the Philosophers tells two. The 

who had never seen a woman, since findy circumstance of Persia is an aigunient, 

touched by Fontaine. An Italian book that Stntipas was originally an oriental 

called Erastus is compiled from this Ro- composition. See what is collected on 

ffiant^ the Seven Saget* It is said to hare this curious sutiject, which is inti- 

been nrst composed by Sandaber the In- mately concerned with the history of the 

dian, a writer of proverbs : that it after- invention of the middle ages, by the 

wards amieared successively in Hebrew, learned editor of the CAnrtaiuaT Tai^s» 

Arabic, Syriac,and Greek; was at length voL iv. p. 329. There is a translation, 

tianalalid into Latin by the monk above as I am inlbimed by tlie same writer, of 

mentioned, and from thence into French this Romance in octosyllable verse, pro- 

' by Herbers. It is very probable that the bably not later than the age of Chaucer, 

monk tmnslated it Arom some Greek MSS. Corxox. Gaj.b. £ ix. It is en« 

manuscript of the dark ages, which Huet titled <* The Proces of the seven Sages,*' 

iaya was to be found in some libraries, and agrees entirely wi^ Lxs skpt Sages 

Three hundred years after the Roman vs. Bx>mb in French piose. MSS. Habw 

of Herbers, it was translated into Dutch, 3860. See also MSS. C. C. Coll. Oxen, 

and again ftrom the Dutch into Latin. S52. in mcmbran. 4to. The Latin book. 

There is an English abridgement of it, called Historia sarraM Sapientux 

which is a story-book for children. See Romje, is not a very scarce manuscript : 

Mem. Lit. Tom. ii. p. 731. 4to. Fauchet, it was printed before 150a I think thertf 

?^ 10^. 160. Huet, drig. Fab. Rom. are two old editions among More's books 

36. Fabric. BibL Gr. x. 339. Massieu, at Cambridge. Particularly one x>rinted 

Poes. Fr. p. 137. Qnescimben. . Volg. in quarto at Paris, in 1493.---Addi- 

Poes. Vol. 1. L. V. p. 332. TroNs.] [See the Introduction to the 

[The ground-work of Dolopathos Seven Wise Masters in Mr. Ellis's Spe- 

is a GrecK story-book called Stntipas, cimens of English Metrical Romances, 

often dted by Du Cange, whose copy and Mr. Weber*s edition of the-same ro« 

appears to have been translated ftom tiie mance.— Enir.] 

Sjrriac. See Gloss. MBD.etlMPiM.Ga.s- Many of the old French minstrels 

ciTAT.—- Ind, AucToa. p. 33. Among deal much in Tales and novels of hu- 

the Harleian manuscripts b another, mour and amusement, like those of Boc- 

which is said to be translated fram the cado's Decameron. They call them 

Persic. MSS. Ha&l. 5560. Fabricius Fabliaux. 

says, that Syntipas was printed at Venice, * See vol. i. p. 121. Compere Cres- 
Ungua^ mdgaru Bibl. Gr. x. 515. On cimben. Volg; Poes. L. i. c xiv. p. 162. 
the wKoIe, the plan of Syntipas appears ^ See p. 43. 45. And Commed. In- 
to be exactly the same with that of Lcs £em. cant. xxii. 
Sept Sages, the Italian Eeasto, and our " Fauch. Rec. p. 96. 



ENGLISH PO£TRT. 299 



il»0¥ed 



of N«?arre, Gaoes Brules, Chatdain de Coucy, and other 
aatient Frendi fiibulists ^. Petrarch's refined ideas of love 
«re chiefly drawn fiom those amorous reveries of the Proven- 
dais which I have above described ; heightened perhaps by 
the Platonic system, and exaggerated by the subtilising spirit 
o[ Italian &ncy. Vardii and Pignatelli have written professed 
treatises on the nature of Petrarch's love. But neidier they, 
nor die rest of the Italians who, to this day, continue to debate 
a point of so much consequence, consider how powerfully Pcf- 
trardi must have been influenced to talk of love in so peculiar 
a strain by studying the poets of Provence. His Triumfci di 
Amore has much imagery copied from Anselm Fayditt, one 
of the most celebrated of these bards. He has likewise many 
imitations from the works of Amaud Daniel, who is called the 
most eloquent of the troubadours^. Petrarch, in one of his 
sdnnets, represents his mistress Laura sailing on the river Rhone, 
in company witli twelve Provendal ladies, who at that time 
presided over the Court of LovE^r 

Pasquier observes, that the Italian poetry arose as the Pro^ 
vencial declined'. It is a proof of the decay of invention 
among the French in the beginning of the fourteenth century, 
that about that period they began to translate into prose their 
old metrical romances : such as the &bles of king Arthur, of 
Charlemagne, of Oddegir the Dane, of Renaud of Montauban, 
and other illustrious champions, whom their early writers had 
celelmited in rhyme*. At length, about the year 1380, in the 

^ 8eeF«uchet,Rec.p.47. 116. And 1408. It Is also referred to by Cresciiiu 

Xlueti Rom. p. 1 21 . 108. hem in his Lives of the Prorendal poets. 

* See ToL i. p. 19U He lived about It contains verdicts or determinations in 

1 189. Recherch. Par Beauchamps, p. 5. the OHui cfLone. 
Nostradamus asserts, that Petrarch stole ' Pasq. Les Recherch. dek fVance, 

many thin^ from a troubadour called vii. 5. p. 609. 61 1. edit. 16SS. foL 
Richard seigneur de Baifoexeiuz, who is * These translations, in which the ori. 

placed under 1S83. Petrarch however sinals were much enlarged, produced an 

was dead at that time. mfinite number of other romances in 

^ Sonnet, clxxxviii. Dodici Donne, prose: and tiie <^ metrical romances 

,&c. Tlie arademidanH della Cnisca in soon became unfashionable and neglect* 

their Dictionary, quote a manuscript ed. The romance of Peiu;eforrest, 

entitled, Libro d' Amore of the year one of the largest of the French ro> 



300 .^HH HISTORY OV 

place of the Provencial a new species of poetry succeeded in 
France, consisting of Chants Royaux^, Balades, Rondeaux, 
and Pastorales ^. This was distinguished by the appellation of 
the New Poetry: and Froissart, who has been mentioned 
above chiefly in the character of an historian, cultivated it with 
so much success, that he has been called its author. The titles 
of Froissarfs poetical pieces wUl alone serve to illustrate the 
nature pf this New Poetry : but they prove, at the some time, 
that the Provencial cast of coipposition stiU continued to pre- 
vail. They are. The Paradise of Lave^ A Panegyric on the 
Month of Majfj The Temple of Honour^ The Firmer of the 
Daisy^ Amorous Lays^ Pastorals^ The Amorous Prison^ Boyal 
Ballads in honour of our Lady^ The Ditty of the Amourous 
Spinettf Virelaisj Rondeaus, and The Plea of the Bose and 
Violet^. Whoever ei^amin^ Cb^^UPer's smaller pieces will per- 

mances of chivalry, was wriUeq in Terse And eke to me it is a grete penaunce, 

about 1220. It was not till many years Sidi rime in English hath soche scarcite, 

afterwards tra^flatedipto prose. M. Fal- To follow word by word the curiosite 

conet) an ingenious inquirer into the Of gransonflour of them that make in 
early literature of France* is of opinion, Fraunce. 

Ihatthe most antient romances, such aa .-,..« ^ . ^ - , 

that of ST Round Table, were first ^"^ Tt^^^'^^'^^KT^^ 
written in Latin prose: it being ^rell we see that this po^ww translated from 

known that Tuipin»s Charlemagne, as ^^S!''*'^ ^ ^ ^J?'*^ * ^"^^ 

itis now ektant, was originaUy composed y- 22M. Pejtorch has Ae £jit«i. I am 

in that language He thinks they were mchned to thmk, that Chaucer s ^«e»- 

translatSlnto French rhymes, and at ^pfFml^ was partly phmned m mn- 

last into French prose, teU que nous les J^'t'' <>{» Fren^ poem written by Gace 

avo7is at^urduy. See Hist: Acad. In- <ie la Vigne, Chimeers cotemporary, 

script. ^293: But part of this doc- entided, Jlomon rf Otscmw, which treats 

trine may be justly doubted. ^^ the nature, properties, and manage- 

»> With re^d to the Chawit royal, «"«»*, of aU birds cfe cha^. But this is 

Pasquier d^cribes it to be a song in "^^l a conjecture, for I hare never 

honJur of God, the holy Virgin, or any ?^° the Frendi poem. At least there 

other aigument of dignity, apedaUy tf "^ an evident simiUtuderfsubjec^ 

joined 4th distress. It was written in 'About Ais tune, a Pnor of a Ge- 

heroic stanaas, and closed with a r^ntH^f, neyieve at Pans wrote a small treatise 

or stanza containing a recapitulation, ent»"ed» ^ AHdeDKtur Ballades et 

dedication, or the Ute. Chaucer calls 5^^,'^'^iif »• ^^""^f Beau^hamps 

the C)ian/roya/ above mentioned, a JTyii- ??^- P^*'- P; ^^' ^- Massieu says 

ff. Note. MiuT T. V. 1 1 1. p.25. His Com. *>i.»s the firet Abt of Poetry printed 

i^ldntof Venm, Cuckow and NightimgpU, l",?'*'*^^- ^"^^ Poes. R-. p. 822. See 

and li belle Darm sans Jfrng^Thavi all Y^^^ Poitkwje du Jaqiws PeUoutier 

a rEmxjy, and belong> to this spedes of ^ ^?P- ^y^»' ^^^' ^^®- ^^^' ^^'^^' '' 

French verse. His /^Bnwg^ to the Com- ^ i,"^*: ^, ^,« «„. 

plamt of Venus, or Mars wZ Venus, ends '^ Pasquier, ubi supr. p. 612. Wljo 

f^ these lines, v. 79 : «»^ ^^^^ F«c« mignaw)Ise9. 



EXGLISH POETRY, 301 

ceive tiiat they are aito^ther formed on this plah, kod dlen 
cmnpounded of these ideas. Chaucer himself dedares, that, 
he wrote 

Many an liymne fof ydur holidaie^ 



f 



^ That hightin balades, rondils, virelaies.' 

But above aU, Chaucer's Floure Avtf the Leafe^ in which 
an air of rural description predominates, and where the allegory 
is principally conducted by mysterious allurions to the virtues 
or beauties of the vegetable world, to flowers and plants, ex- 
clusive of its general romantic and allegoric vein, bears a strong 
resemblance to some of these subjects. The poet is haf^ily 
placed in a delicious arbour, interwoven with eglantine. Ima- 
ginary troops of knights and ladies advance r some of the ladies 
are crowned with flowers, and others with cbaplets of agnus 
castus, and these are respectively subject to a Liody of the 
Fktmery and a Loidy of the Leitf^. Some are cloatbed in green, 
and others in whiter Many of the knights are distinguished in 
much the same manner. But others are crowned with leaves 
<^oak or of other trees: others carry branches of oak, laurel, 
hawthorn, and woodbine \ Besides this profusion of vernal 
ornaments, the whole procession glitters with gold, pearls, ru- 
bies, and other costly decorations. They are preceded by 
minstrels cloathed in green and crowned with flowers^ One of 
the ladies sings a bargaret, or pastoral, in praise of the daisy. 

A bargaret^ in prxusing the daine. 

For as methought among her notis swete 

She said si douce est le margdmite. ^ 

* Here is an elleipais. He means|» And In tbe FtoumK and Lbafe we have the 

jMems. words of a French Roundeau, t. 177. 

' Bx>l. liCg. G. W. V. 422. He men^ « In a decision of the Court op Lovr 

tionfr this sort of poetry in the Franke^ cite^ by Fontenelle, the judge is called 

' lein's Tale, v. 2493. p. 109. Urr. Le Marquis detjleuret et violettes, Font.^ 

(Hmkaeb matere [loYel madin he many ^^[ ^P^* P* 1^* 

Uyes, ^ »»▼. 27a 

Songis, Complaintis, Roundils, Vire- J Rather P«-^erette. AsongduBerger, 

layes ^ '^ shephenU 

Comp.re'ci..ucer', ]»»>. t. 973. ' '* ^^a A p.n.gyric on tfa» flower 



302 THE HISTORY OF 

This mi^t have been Froissart's song : at least this is one of 
his suliyects*. In the mean time a nightingale^. seated in a laurdt- 
tree, whose shade would cover an hmidred persons, sings the 
whole service, " longing to May." Some of the knights and 
ladies do obeysance to the leai^ and some to the flower of the 
daisy. Others are represented as worshipping a bed of flowers. 
Flora is introduced ^< of these fiouris goddesse.'* The Iddy of 
the leaf invites the lady of the flower to a banquet Undar 
these symbols is much morality couched. The leaf signifies 
perseverance and virtue : the flower denotes indolence and jdea^ 
spre. Among those who are crowned with the leaf^ are the 
knights of king Arthur^s round table, and Chaiiemagnei^s 
Twelve Peers; together with tlie knights of the order of the 
Garter now just established by Edward the Third K 

But these fiincies seem more immediately to have taken their 
rise from the Floral Games instituted in France in the year 
1 324 °*, which filled the French poetry with inures of tliis sort **•. 
Th^ were founded by Clementina Isaure coimtess of Tholouse, 

is igaiA introduced in the Frdogne to Marguerite, by GuiUoume Maehau^ 
ibe X^, of G* fFiWU ▼. 180. Acad. Insceipt. xx. p. 381. x. 669* 

Tlie long daie I shope me for to abide !jf u^fft^i!^ *\k 5 ^* "I!^ ^ 

Fbr noiing eUis, aiS I duOl not Ue ^^"^ whether, either Fro^sart, or 

Ti * 1? - *« T>i,:« ..««« ♦!,« ./«.-;- - Chaucer, means Marffaret, countess of 

But for to lokm upon the W, Pembroke. Fcr cwnpie lirENii. Paxp. 

That wel by reason men it calld mait *«-»»•««.*« ««iii».*j^wr»««,. * *»> 

ai.-> n^^\».M^*i^^.M^/^^h^^ijUM, Cantehb. Taxes^c rah i, p. xxxiv* I 

^^S^^'trSTJt^ .dd.th«te.he,e«l^thepoeticd 

AIMS ""^'Jl^ "^ ««;««.,*« metCB of Margaret de Vdois, queen of 

*^ * NaTarre, were collected and published 

Spe^t supposes that he means to pay a under the title of MAmovxRiTx de la liar' 

compliment to Lady Margaret, countesa guerUet det princesus^ tret HUittre JRo^ne 

of Pembroke, king £dward*s daughter, de Navarre, by John de la I&ye, her 

one of his patronesses See the Balade valet de chambre. It was common in 

beginning In Fevrere, &c p^ 556, Urr. France, to ^re the title of Mab^okurs 

Y. 688. Froi8sart*s song in praite of the to studied panegyrics, and flowery com- 

dmsu might have the same tendency : positions of every kind, both in prose and 

for he was ' patronised both by Edward verse.-^AnnrnoNs^] 

and Philippa. MargaruUei% French for » v. 516. 517. 519. 

J>aisy, Cbaucerperhaps intends the same ^ Mem. Lit tom. vii. p. 422. 4to. 

compliment by the <* MargarUe perle,'* ^ Hence Froissart in the EfinsttIp 

Test, Isove, p. 48S. coL i. &c, Urr. See . Amourkuse, describing hta romantic 

^so Prol, Leg, G. Wom,r, 218. 2S4. anfoaamantSr safs he w«s.dBli^ited.wit]^ 

ITiat Prologue has many images like violettes en leur snisans 

thbse in the Flower and the Leafe. It was -XJ^^^m i ^ L -n it^ 

J 1 ^, ..^ A ., . ..____.. Et roses blanches et vermemes, &e. 

evidently wntten after that poem. ^ 

f Sec Ledit dela ficur^ lis et de la See Mem. it* torn. x. p. 665, 287. 4to. 



ENGLISH POETRY. dOS 

and annually celebrated in the nM>nth of May* l^e published 
an edicti which assembled all the poets of France in artificial 
arbours dr^sed iwrith flowers : and he that produced the best 
poem was rewarded with a violet of gold. Tb^e were likewise 
inferior prizes of flowers made in silver. In the mean time the 
conquerors were crowned with natural chaplets of their own 
respective flowers. During the ceremony, degrees were also 
ccmferred. He who had won a prize three times was created 
a doctor en gayeSdence^ the name of the poetry of the Proven- 
cial troubadours* The instrument of creation was in verse ^. 
This institution, however fantastic, soon became common 
through the whole kingdom of France : and these romantic 
rewards, distributed with the most impartial attention to merit, 
at least infused an useful emulation, and in some measure re« 
vived the languishing genius of the French poetry. 

The French and Italian poets, whom Chaucer imitates, 
abound in allegorical personages : and it is remarkable, that 
the early poets of Greece and Rome were fond of these crea- 
tions. Homer has given us, Strife, Contention, Fear, 
Terror, Tumult, Desire, Persuasion, and Benevolence^ 
We have in Hesiod, Darkness, and many others if the Shield 
of Hercules be of his hand. Comus occurs in the Agamenn 
'non of Eschylus ; and in the .Prometheus of the same poet. 
Strength and Force are two persons c^ the drama, and per- 
form the capital parts. The fragmentsof Ennius indicate, that 
his poetry consisted much of personifications. He says, that 
in cme of the Carthaginian wars, the gigantic image of Sorrow 
appeared in every pliace : '\ Omnibus endo locis ingens apparet 
imago Tristitias.** Lucretius has drawn the great and ter- 
rible figure of Superstition, ^^Quae caput e coeli regionibus 
ostendebat." He also mentions, in a beautifiil procession of 
the Seasons, Calor aridus, Hyems, and Algus. He intro- 
duces MEniciNE muUering with silent Jear^ in the midst of the 
deadly pestilence at" Athens. It seems to have escaped the 
many critics who have written on Milton's noble but romantic 

° Reehercfaes sur les poetes couronnez-, Mem. Lit. torn. x. p* 567» 4to» 



504 



THE HISTORY OF 



tilegory of Sin and Death, that he took the person ct Death 
from ^e Aloestis of his &vorite tragedian, Euripides, where 
BANATOS is a principal agent in the drama. As knowledge 
and leammg increase, poetry begins to deal less in imagina- 

living characters. 



ENGLISH FOETRYw 3Q5 



SECTION XIX. 



XF Chaucer had not existed, tlie compositions of John Gower, 
the next poet in succession, would alone have been sufficient to 
rescue the reigns of lEdward the Third and Richard the Second 
from the imputation of barbarism. His education was liberal 
and uncircumscribed, his course of reading extensive, and he 
tempered his severer studies with a knowledge of life. By a 
critical cultivation of his native language, he laboured to re- 
form its irregularities, and tp establish an English style*. In 
these respects he resembled his friend and cotemporary Chau- 
cer ** : but he participated no considerable portion of Chaucer's 
spirit, imagination, and elegance. His language is tolerably 
perspicuous, and his versification often harmonious: but his 
poetry is of a grave and sententious turn. He has much good 
sense, solid reflection, and useful observation. But he is se- 
rious and didactic on all occasions : he preserves the tone of 
the scholar and the moralist on the most lively topics. For 
this reason he seems to have been characterised by Chaucer 
with the appellation of the morall Gower *^. But his talent is 
. . not confined to English verse only. He wrote also in Latin ; 
and copied OvidV Elegiacs with some degree of purity, and 
. with fewer false quantities and corrupt phrases, than any of 
. our countrymen had yet exhibited since (tie twdfth century. 
Gower's capital work, consisting of three parts, only the last 
of which properly frurnishes matter for our present inquiry, is 

* See Mipra, pag. 177. line 19. Chaucer died October 25, 1400^ aged 

^ It is cotain that Aey both lived and 72 years. Gower died, 1402. ^ 

wrote together. But I have considered ' Troil. Cress, ad calc. pag. 333. edit. 

Chaucer firstr anaoog other reasons here- Urr. ut supr. 

after given, as Gower survived bira. 

VOt. II. X 



306 THE HISTORY OF 

• 

entided Speculum Meditantis, Vox Clamantis, Confessio 
Amantis. It was finished, at least the third part, in the year 
1393**. The Speculum Meditantis, or the Mirrour ofMe- 
ti tat ion, is written in French rhymes, in ten books*. This 
tract, which was never printed, displays the general nature of 
virtue and vice, enumerates the felicities of conjugal fidelity by 
examples selected from various authors, and describes the path 
which the reprobate ought to pursue for the recovery of the 
divine grace. The Vox Clamantis, or the Voice of one crying 
in the Wilderness, which was also never printed, contains seven 
books of Latin elegiacs. This work is chiefly historical, and 
is little more thai^ a metrical chronicle of the insurrection of 
the Commons in the reign of king Bichard the Second. The 
best and most beautiful manuscript of it is in the library of All 
Souls college at Oxford ; with a dedication in Latin verse, ad- 
dressed by the author, when he was old and blind, to arch- 
bishop ArundeF. The Confessio Amantis, or the Lover^s 
Confession, is an English poem, in eight books, first printed 
by Caxton, in the year H83. It was written at the command 
of Richard the Second ; who, meeting our poet Gower rowing 
on the Thames near London, invited him into the royal 
barge, and after much conversation requested him to book some 
new tking^, • 

This tripartite work is represented by three volumes <mi 

' CoNFKSi. Amavt. ProL foL I. a. potm or balade, by the same author.— 

col. 1. Imprinted at London, in Flete- Ellis.] 

strete, by Thomas Berthdette, the xii. ' MSS. Num. 26. It occurs more 

date of March, ann* 1554. folio. This than once in the Bodleian library; and, 

edition is here always cited. I beliere, ofteu in private hands. There 

' B9>1. Bodl. MSS.Bodl.NE. F.8. 9. is a fine manuscript of it in the British 

And MSS. Fairf. 3* [Gower*s Specu^ Museum. It was written in the year 

lum MfdUantis has never, I believe, been 1397^ as appears by the following Une, 

seen by any of our poetical an^uaries ; MS& BodL 294. 
nor does it exist in the Bodleian Library. . 

Campbell, the author of Gower*s article Hos ego bis dkno Ricardi regis in anno. 

intheBio^aphiaBrit,andWarton,who « TotheEehee, inBertheletta'aedi- 
profess to give an account of its contents, . .^„ vZliltTru ^Z^ZTa^ 
were decefved by the ambiguity of a re- T^l.^^^v^ ?^' ^"^^^ 
ference in Tann^; and, iSsteid of the P' ^^^- ^^ ' ^ »' ~^- •• 
work in question, ^[escribe ajnuch sbdrter 



ENGLISH POETRY. 307 

Grower's curious tomb in the conventual church of Saint Mary 
.Overee in Southwark, now remaining in its antient state; and 
this circumstance furnishes me with an obvious opportunity 
'o£ adding an anecdote relating to our poet's munificence and 
piety, which ought not to be omitted. Although a poet, he 
largely contributed to rebuild that church in its present ele- 
^nt form, and to render it a beautiful pattern of the lifter 
Gothic architecture ; at the same time he founded, at his tomb, 
a perpetual chantry. 

It is on the last of th^e pieces, the Conf£ssio Amantis, 
that Gower's character mid reputation as a poet are almost 
entirely founded. This poem, which bears no immediate re- 
ference to the other two divisions, is a dialogue between a lover 
and his confessor, who is a priest of Venus, and^ like the my- 
stagogue in the Picture of Cebes, is called Genius. Here, 
as if it had be«i|^possible for a lover not to be a good Ca- 
tholic, the ritual pf religion is applied to the tender {Passion, 
and Ovid's Art of Love is blended with the breviary. In the 
. course of the confession, every evil affection of the human heart, 
which may tend to impede the progress or counteract the suc^ 
cess of love, is scientifically subdivided ; and its fatal effects 
exemplified by a variety of apposite stories, extracted fi'om 
classics and chronicles. The poet often introduces or recapi- 
tulates his matter in a few couplets of Latin long and short 
verses. This was in imitation of Boethius. 

This |)oem is strongly tinctured with those pedantic affecta- 
tions concerning the passion of love, which the French and 
Italian poets of the fourteenth century borrowed fi'om the 
troubadours of Provence, and which I have above examined 
at large. But the writer's particular model appeairs more im- 
mediately to have been John of Meun's celebrated Romaunt 
DE LA Rose. He has, however, seldom attempted to imitate 
the picturesque imageries, and expressive personifications, of 
that exquisite, allegory. His most striking pourtraits, which 
yet are conceived with no powers of creation, nor delineated 

x 2 



308 THE HISTORY OF 

with any fertility of fancy, are Idleness, Avarice, Micherie 
or Thieving, and Negligence, the secretary of Sloth \ In- 
stead of boldly cloathing these qualities with corporeal attri- 
butes, aptly and poetically imagined, he coldly yet sensibly 
describes their operations, and enumerates their properties. 
What Gower wanted in invention, he supplied. from his com- 
mon-place book; which appears to have been stored with an 
inexhaustible fund of instructive maxims, pleasant narrations, 
and philosophical definitions. It seems to have been his ob- 
ject to crowd all his erudition into this elaborate performance. 
Yet there is oflen some degree of contrivance and art in his 
manner of introducing and adapting subjects of a very distant 
nature, and which are totally foreign to his general design. 

In the fourth book our confessor turns chemist; and dis- 
coursing at large on the Hermetic science^ developes its prin- 
ciples, and exposes its abuses, with great penetration K He 
delivers the doctrines concerning the vegetable, mineral, and 
animal stones, to which Falstaffe alludes in Shakespeare^, 

^ Lib. iv. f. 62. a. col. 1. Lib. v. f. 94. discoveries obtained hj means of the 

«. col. I. Lib. iv. f. 68. a. col. 1. Lib. v. Uiim and Thummim, a contexture of 

f. 119. a. col. 3. gems in the bneost-plate of the Mosaic 

1 Lib. iv. f. 76. b. col. 2. priests, were owing to some virtue inhe- 

^ FaUtaflTe mentions a philosopher's rent in those stones, adopted the know. 

or chemist's two stoneM. See P. Henr. IV. ledge of the occult prop«ties of gems ^B 

Act iii. Sc. 2. Our author abundantly a branch of their magical system. Hence 

confirms Doctor Warburton's explication it became the peculiar profWssioa of one 

of this passage, which the rest of the class of their Sa^es, to investigate and 

commentators do not seem to have un- interpret the vanous shades and corus- 

derstood. See Ashm. Theatr. Chemic cations, and to explain, to a moral pur- 

p. 484. edit Lond. 1652. 4to. pos^ the different colours, the dews, 

[Tben^ons bordering upon the Jews, clouds, and imageries, which gems, dif • 

attributed the miraculous events of that ferently exposed to the sun, mooni stars, 

' people, to those external means and ma* fire, or air, at particular seasons, and in- 

terial instruments, such as symbols, ce- spected by persons particularly qualified, 

remonies, and other visible signs or cir- were seen to exhibit. This noticm being 

cumstances, which by God's special ap- once established, a thousand exCravagan- 

pointment, under their mysterious dis- cies arose, of healing diseases^ of procu- 

pensation, thoy were directed to use. ring victory, and of seeing filture events, 

Apiong the observations which the ori- by means of pretious stones and other 

cQtal Gentiles made on the history of the lucid substances. See Plifl. Nat. Hut. 

Jews, they found that the Divine vriU xxxvii. 9. 10. These superstitions were 
wa« to be known by certain appears oces . soon insrafled into the Arabian phito- 

in pretious stonen. The Magi of the sophy, &om which they-were pkqpagated 

East, believing that the preternatural all orver Europe, and cotldnued to op6- 



ENGLISH POETRY. 309 

with amazing accuracy. and perspicuity'; although this doc- 
trine was adopted fron^ systems then in vogue, as we shall see 
below. In another place be applies the Argonautic expedition 
in search of the golden fleece, which he relates at length, to 
the same visionary philosophy™. Gower very probably con- 
ducted his associate Chaucer into these profound mysteries, 
which had been just opened to our countrymen by the books 
of Roger Bacon ". 

In the seventh book, the whole circle of the Aristotelic philo- 
sophy is explained; whiph our lover is desirous to learn, sup- 
posing that the importance and variety of its speculations 
might conduce to sooth hi^ anxieties by diverting and enga- 
ging his attention. Such a discussion was not very likely to 
afford him much consolation: especially, as hardly a single 
ornamental digressicm is admitted, to decorate a' field naturally 
so destitute of flowers. Alpiost the only one is the following 
description of the chariot and crown of the sun ; in which the 
Arabian ideas concerning precious stones are interwoven with 
Ovid's fictions and the dassical mythology. 

Of golde glistrende®, spoke and whele, 

The Sonne his Carte p hath, faire and wele; 

In which he sit, and is croned 

With bright stones environed : 
Of which, if that I speke shall 

There be tofore**, inspeciall% 

rate even so late as the visionary experi- establishments. See Martin *sWs$t. Tslm, 

ments of Dee and Kelly'. It is not in p. 167. 235. And Aubrey's Mxsckll. 

the mean time at all improbable, that the p. 128. Lond. Svo.— AnoiTiosrs. 1 

Druidical doctrines concerning the vir- ^ Ibid. f. 77. a. col. 1. 

tues of stones were derived froni these " Lib. v. f. 101. a. seq. 

lessons of the Magi : and they are still ° See supra, p^ 1^00, Note '. 

to be traced among the traditions of the ° glittering. 

vulgar, in those parts of Britain and Ire- ''chariot. 'before* 

land, where Druidism retained its latcnst ' above alL 



' When king Richard 'the First, in 1191, took the Isle of Cyprus^ he is said to 
have found the castles filled with rich furniture of cold and silver, " necnon lapi- 
dibus pretiosis, et jilurimam virtutem liabentibus. * G. Vines. Iter Hierosou 
cap. xU. p. 328. Hist. Anglic. Scrift. vol. ii. Oxon. 1687. 



\ . 



310 THE HISTORY OF 

( 

Set in the front of his corone, 

Thre stoneS) which no peirsone 

Hath upon erths and the first is 

By name dqied Leucachatis ; 

That other two cleped thus 

Astroites and Ceraunus, 

In his corone ; and also byhynde, 

By olde bokes, as I fynd, — 

There ben of worthy stones three, 

Set eche of hem in his d^ree ; 

Whereof a Cristelle is that one, 

Which that corone is sett upon : 

The second is an Adamant ; 

The third is noble and avenant', 

Which cleped is Idriades — 

And over this yet nathelessS 

Upon the sidis of the werke, 

After the writynge of the clerke**, 

There sitten five stones mo'' ; 

The Smaragdine is one of tho*, 

Jaspis, and Helitropius^ 

And Yandides, and Jacinctus. 

Lo ! thus the corone is beset, 

Whereof it shineth wel the bet^. 

And in such wise, his light to spreade. 

Sit, vnih his diademe on heade. 

The Sonne, shinende in his carte : 

And &r to lead him swithe' and smarte. 

After the bright dales lawe. 

There ben ordamed for to drawe 

Four hors his chare^ and him withall, 

Whereoff the names tell I shall : 



* beautiful. 


* them. 


< stiU farther. 


y much better. 


^ the philosopher. 


•swift. 


^ more. 





ENGLISH POETRY. 311 

( • • • 

Eritheus the first is hote'. 

The whiche is redde, and shineth hote ; 

The second Acteos the bright, 

Lampes the third courser hight, 

And Philogeos is the ferth*^, 

That bringen light unto this erth 

And gon^ so swift upon the heven, &c.*^ 

Our author closes this course of the Aristotelic {^ilosophy 
with a system of politics ** : not taken from Aristotle's genuine 
treatise on that subject, but from the first chapter of a spurious 
compilation entitled, Secretum Secrbtorcjm Ari6toteli8% 
addressed under the name of Aristotle to his pupil Alexander 
the Ghreat, and printed at Bononia in the year 1516. A work, 
tr^ted as genuine and explained with a learned gloss, by 
Rc^r Bacon ^ : and of the highest reputation in Gower^s age, 
as It was transcribed, and illustrated with a commentary, for 
the use of king Edward the Third, by his chi^lain Walter de 
Millemete, prebendary of the collegiate church of Glaseney in 
ComwalU. Under this head, our author takes an opportunity 
of giving advice to a weak yet amiaUe prince, his patron king 
Richard the Second, on a subject of the most difficult and de* 
licate nature, with much freedcmi and dignity. It might also 
be proved, that Gower, through this detail of the sciences, 
copied in many other articles the Secretum Secbetorum ; 
which is a sort of an abridgement of the Aristotelic philosophy, 
filled with many Arabian innovaticms and absurdities, and en- 
riched with an appendix- concerning the choice of wines, phle- 
botomy, justice, public notaries, tournaments, and physic 
ognomy, rather than from the Latin translations of Aristotle. It 
is evident, that he copied from this work the doctrine of the 

■ named. ^ fourth. « Tanner, BiM. p. 527. It is cited 

* Lib. vii. f. 145. b. col. 1. 2. by Brad wardine, a famous English theo- 

* Lib. vii. f. 151. a. logist, in hisgrrand work De Causa Dei. 

* See supr. vol. i. p. 136. Note *. He died 1 J49. 
' See Wood, Hist. Antiquit. Univ. 

Oxon. lib. i. p. 15. col. 1. 



312 th£ history gp 

three chemical stones, mentioned above ^ That part of our 
author's astronomy, in which he speaks of the magician Kecta^ 
banus instructing Alexander the Great^ when a youth, in the 
knowledge of the fifteen stars, and their respective plants and 
precious stones, appropriated to the operations of natural ma- 
gic ^ seems to be borrowed frpm Callisthenes, the fabulous 
writer of the life of Alexander^. Yet many wonderful inven- 
tions, whiph occur in this romance of Alexander, are also to 
be found in the S^ceetum Secq-etorum : ptuticularly the 
fiction of Alexander's Stentorian horn, mentioned above, which 
wa3 heard at the distance of sixty miles ', and of which Kir- 
cher has given a curious r^resentation in his Phonurgia, 
copied fi*om an antient picture of this gigantic instrument, be- 
longing to a manuscript of the S^cretum SECR|iTORU»f, pre- 
served in the Vatican library"^. 

It is pretended by the mystic writers, that Aristotle in his 
old 9ge reviewed his books, and digested his philos(^hy into 
one system or body, which he sent, in the form of an epistle, 
to Alexander* This is the supposititious tract of which I have 
been speaking ; and it is thus des<;ribed by Lydgate, who has 
translated a part of it. 

Title of this boke Lapis Philosophorum, 
Namyd also De Regimine Principum, 
Of philosophres Secretum Secretorum.^— 

^ Tl^ere is an i^pistle pnder t))e ni^me *■ Or from fictitious books attributed 

of Alexander the Great, De Lajride Phi- to Alexander the Great, De sejytem Her-' 

losophorum, among the Scriptores Cue^ Ins septein Planetarum, &o. See Fabric. 

Mici artis aiirjferipf Basil, ]591> torn. i. l^ibh Gr. tpm. ii. p. 206, See supra, 

And edit. 1610. See below, Note ^, vol. i. p. 138. And vol. ii. p. 56. Note'. 

I have mentioned a I^atin romance pf Callisdienes is mentioned twice in thia 

Alexander's life, as printed by Frederick poem. Lib. vii. f. 1S9. b. col. 2; and 

Corsellis, about 1468. sup. vol. i. p. 135. vi. f..]39. b. cqI.2. See a chapter cf Calt 

On examination, that impression is said listhenes and Alexander, in Lydgate's 

^> be finished December 17, 1468. Un- Fall of Privcss, B. iv. ch. 1. seq, foU 

'uokily, the seventeenth day of December 99. edit ut infr. 

:as a Si|n(}ay that year. A manifest ' See supra, vol. i. p. 136. 

proof that the name of Corsellis was *" Pag. HO. See Skcrktum Secrk^ 

forged. [The 17th Deceniber, 1468, torum, Bibl. Bodi. MSS, BodL D. i,5, 

was a Saturday.— RrrsoN.] Cap. penult, lib. 5. 

^ Ifib. yii. f. 148. a. se<^f 



XKGLISH POETRY. 315 

The which booke direct to the kyng 
Alysaundre, both in the werre and pees \ 
Lyke** his request and royall commanding, 
FuUe accomplishid by Aristotiles* 
Feeble of age. - - - - - 

Then follows a rtibric " How Aristotile declareth to kynge 
Alysandre of the stonys p." It was early translated into French 
prose**, and printed in English, " The Secret of Aristotyle, 
with the Govern ALE of Princes and every maner of estate, 
with rules for helth of body and soul, very gode to teche chil- 
dren to rede English, newly translated out of French, and em- 
prented by Robert and William Copland, 1528 '." This work 
will occur again under Occleve and Lidgate. There is also 
another forgery consecrated with the name of Aristotle, and 
of^ quoted by the astrologers, which Gower might have 
used: it is de Regiminibus coelestibus, which had been 
early translated from Arabic into Latin ». 

Considered in a general view, the Confessio Amantis may 
be pronounced tabe no unpleasing miscellany of those shorter 
tales which delighted the readers of the middle age. Most of 
these are now forgotten, together with the voluminous chroni- 
cles in which they were recorded. The book which appears 
to have accommodated our author with the largest quantity of 
materials in this article, was probably a chronicle entitled Pan- 
theon, or Memorise Seculorum, compiled in Latin, partly 
in prose and partly in verse, by Godfrey of Viterbo, a chaplain 



a 



pesee. vxvt, from the French of Louis le Roy, 

** according to. printed by Adam Islip, in folio, in the 

I* MSS. Bibl. BodL Laud. B. S4. K. year 1527, and dedicated to Sir Robert 

53. Fiart of this manuscript is printed Sidney, is Aristotle's genuine work. In 

by Ashmole, Thzate. Chemic. ut supr. Gresbam college library there is ** Alex- 

p. S97. See Julius Bartolocc torn. i. andri M. Epistolae ad preceptorem Ari* 

Bibl. Rabbinic p. 475. And Joann. a stotelem, An^icefactae.** MSS.5S. But 

Lent, Theol. Judaic, p. 6. I believe it Oedeve's or Lydgate's poem 

^ M^m. de Litt. torn. xvii. p. 737. on the subject, hereafter mentioned. 
4to. ^ ' Hotting. Bibl. Orient p. 255. Se6 

' Octavo*' A work called Aris'otle's Fie, Mirandulan. contra Astrolog. lib.i. 

FouTiQUEs, ojr Discourses or Goverk- p. 284. 



314? THEHISTORYOF 

and notary to three German emperours, who died in the year 
1190^. It commences, according to the established practice 
of the historians of this age, wiA the creation of the world, 
and is brought down to the year 1186. It was first prmted 
at Basil in the year 1569". The learned Muratori has not 
scrupled to insert the five lisist sections oT this universal history 
in the seventh tome of his writers on Italy ^. The subject of 
this work, to use the laborious compiler's own expressions, is 
the Old and New Testament; and all the emperours and 
kings, which have existed firom the beginning of the world to 
his own times : of whom the origin, end, names, and atchieve- 
ments are commemorated \ The authors which our chronicler 
professes to have consulted for the gentile story, are only Jo- 
sephus, Dion Cassius, Strabo, Orosius, Hegesippus^, Sueto- 
nius, Solinus, and Julius Africanus : among which, not one of 
the purer Roman historians occurs. Gower also seems to have 
used another chronicle written by the same Godfrey, never 
printed, called Speculum Regum, or the Mirrour of Kings, 
which is almost as multi&rious as the last; containing a gene- 
alogy of all the potentates, Trojan and German, fi:'om Noah's 
flood to the reign of the emperour Henry the l^ixth, according 
to the chronicles of the venerable Bede, Eusebius, and Ambro- 
sius ^. There are, besides, two ancient collectors of marvellous 
and delectable occurrences to which our author is indebted, 
Cassiodorus and Isidorus. These are mentioned as two of the 
chroniclers which Caxton used in compiling his Crokjcles of 

^ See supra, p. 185. Note ^* And Eccard, 'with a German translation, in 

Jacob. Quetif. i. p. 740. the first volume o£ Scriptorbs Mkdu 

^ In folio. Again, among Scriptor. de ^vi, p. 68S. 945. It was continued to 

Reb. Germanicis, by Pistorius. i^rancof. the year 1237, by Godfridus, a Fanta- 

fol. 1584. And HanoT. 1613. Lastly in leonistmonk. This continiiatiQii, which 

a new edit, of Fistoriu8*s collection by has considerable morit as a history, is 

Struvius, Radsbon. 1726. fol. There is extuit in Freherus, Reiv Oermanicar. 

a chronicle, I believe sometimes con- lorn. i. edit. Struvian. p. 335. 

founded with Godfrey's Panthkon, call- ^* p. 346. 

eil the Pantalkoke, from the creation ' in proem, 

to the year 1162, about which time it ^ See supra, p. 50. 

was compiled by the Benedictine monks ^ See Lambeth ii. p. 274. 
of Saint Pantaleou at Cologn, printed by 



ENGLISH POETRY. 315 

- . # * 

England V Casdodonis^ wrote, at the command of the Go- 
thic king Theodoric, a work named Chronicon Breve, cchh- 
mencing with our first parents, and deduced to the year 5199 
chiefly deduced fiom Eusebius's ecclesiastic history, the diro- 
nicies of Prosper and Jerom, and Aurelius Victor's Origin of 
the Roman nation ^. An Italian translation by Lodovico Dolce 
waes [mnted in 1561^. Isidorus, caDed Hispalensis, cited by 
Davie and Chaucer % in the seventh century, framed fi'om die 
same author a €ronicon, from Adam to llie time of the em- 
pieror Heracliu^ first printed in the year 1477, and translated 
into Italian under the title of Cronica d'Isidoro, so so(Hi 
after as the year 1 480 ^ 

These ccnnprehensive systems of all sacred and proline 
eviefnts, which in the middle ages multiplied to an excessive 
d^ee, superseded the use of the classics and other established 
autiiors, whose materials they gave in a commodious abridge- 
ment, and in whose place, by selecting those stories only which 
suited the taste of the times, they substituted a more agreeable 
kind of reading: nor was it by these means only, that they 
greatiy contributed to retard the acquisition of tiiose omam^its 
of style, and other arts of composition, which an attention to 
the genuine models would have afibrded, but by being written 
without any ideas of elegance, and in the most barbarous 
phraseology. Yet productive as they were of these and other 

* Bale^ qmd Lewises Caxtok, p. xviL ' Stampata nel FriuU. It is some- 
post pref. And in the prologue to the times called Ckronica dx six mumdi 
Fauctus Txmpoxum, printed at St. Al- ^tatibus, Imaoo Mundi, and Axbes- 
ban*s in 148Sy one of the authors is viatio Tkscporum. It was continued 
** Caasiodonis of the actjrs of emperours by Isidorus Pacensis from 610 to 754^ 
and bisshoppys.*' This continuation was printed in 1634» 

^ See CoNFKs. Amamt. lib. vii. f. 156. foL Pampelon. Under the title " £pi- 

b. coL I. And our author to king Henry, tome Imperatorum vel Arabum Epbe- 

Urry*s Ch. p. 542. v. 330. meridos unacum Hispanise Chronico.** 

^ It has (^n been printed. See Opxra Isidore has likewise left a history or 

Casoodori, duobus tomis, Rothomag. chronicle oftheGoths, copied also by our 

1679. foL author, from the year 176, to the death 

^ Cknnpendio di Sesto Ruflb, con la of king Sisebut in the year 628. It was 

Cronica di Cassiodoro, de Fatti de early printed. See it in Grotius's Col- 

Komani, &c. In Venezia, per il Giolto,. lkctio Rerum Gotbicarum, pag. 707. 

1561, 4to. Amst. 1655. Svo. 

* See supra« p. 62, Note ^. 



S16 THE HISTORY OF 

inconvenient consequences, they were not without their use in 
the rude periods of literature. By gradually weaning the minds 
of readers from monkish legends, they introduced a relish for 
real and rational history; and kindling an ardour of inquiring 
into the transactions of past ages, at length awakened a cu- 
riosity to obtain ^ more accurate and authentic knowledge of 
important events by searching the original authors. Nor are 
they to be entirely neglected in modem and more polished 
ages. For, besides that they contain curious pictures of the 
credulity and ignorance of our ancestors, they frequently pre- 
serve facts transcribed from books which have not descended 
to posterity. It is extremely probable, that the plan on which 
they are all constructed, that of deducing a perpetual history 
from the creation to the writer's age, was partly taken from 
Ovid's Metamorphose, and partly from die Bible. 

In the mean time there are three histories of a less general 
nature, which Gower seems more immediately to have fol- 
lowed in some of his tales. These are Colonna's Romance of 
Troy, the Romance of Sir Lancelot, and the Gesta Roma- 

NORUM. 

From Colonna's Romance, which he calls The Tale ofTroie, 
The Boke of Troie^y and sometimes The Cronike \ he has taken 
all that relates to the Trojan and Grecian story, or, in Milton's 
language, the Tale of Troy divine. This piece was first 
printed at Cologne in the year 1477 '. At Colonia an Italian 

' Of Palamedes and Nauplios, <' The leus and Pfaocus, '* Ak the Croniqitk 

boke of Troie whoso rede." Lib. ii. fol. 52. seithe." Lib. iii. f. 61. b. col. 1. Of 

b. ooj. 8. The story of Jason and Me- Ulysses and Penelope, ** In a Crokiquk 

dta, " whereof the tale in speciall is in I finde writte." Lib. iv. f. 63. b. coL 2. 

the boke of Troie writte. *' Lib. v. fol. 101 . He mentions also the Croviqite for tales 

a. col. 2. Of the Syrens seen by Ulysses, of other nations. ** In the CR<)viainE as 
*<whichinthefa^of Trotelfinde.** Lib. ' I finde, Cham was be which first the 
i. f. 10. b. col. 1. Of the eloquence of letters fonde, and wrote In Hebrew with 

Ulysses, ** As in the boke of Troie is hishonde,ofnaturall philosophic.*' Lib. 

funde." Lib. vii. f. 150. a. col. 1. &c.&c. iv. fol. 76. a. col. 1. . For Darius*s four 

See supra, vol. i. p. ISO. micstions, liib. vii. fol. 151. b. col. I. 

*^ In the story of the Theban chief Ca- For Perillus's brazen bull. f. ftc &c. 

paneus, <* This knight as the Cronikk Sec below. 

seine.'* Lib. i. f. 18. b. col. 2. Of Achil- ' In quarto. Historia Trojana, a 
les and Teucer, ** In a Crokique I fynde . Guidone de Columfma liessanensi Judice 

thus." Lib. iii. fol. 62. a. col. 1. Of Pe- edita 1287. Impressaper Amoldum 7Aer- 



ENGLISH POETRY. S17 

translation appeared in the same year, and one at Venice in 
1481. It was translated into Italian so early as 1S24, by 
Philipp Ceffi a Florentine '^^ 'By some writers it is called the 
British as well as the Trojan story' ; and there are manu- 
scripts in which it is entitled the history of Medea and Ja- 
son °'. In most of the Italian translations it is called la stori a. 
DELLA GUERRA PI Troja. This history is repeatedly called 
the Troie bok£ by Lydgate, who translated it into English 
verse". 

As to the romance of Sir Lancelot, our author, among 
others on the subject, refers to a volume of which he was the 
hero : perhaps that of Robert Borron, altered soon afterwards 
by Godefroy de Leigny, under the tide of le Roman de la 
Charette, and printed with additions at Paris by Aotony 
Verard, in the year 1494. 

For' if thou wilt the bokes rede 
Of Launcelot and other mo, 
Then might thou seep how it was tho 
Of armes, for this wolde atteine 
To love, which, withouten peine 
Male not be gette of idleness : 
And that I take to witnesse 



humem CdonitB commorarUemf 1477. Die tish chronicle the same. In Theodorie 

pemiiL Nov, I am mistaken in what I EngeUmaen's Chronica CHftONicomuM, 

have said, supra, voL i. p. ISO. There compiled about tlie year 1490, where the 

Ss another edition at Okford by Rood, author speaks of Troy, he cites Cdonna 

1480, 4to. Two at StrasbuT|^ i486, de Beilo Trmano. In the IV«face be 

and 1489. foL Ames calls him Colu- mentions CoIonna*s Cbeomica Beitam- 

mella. Hist. Print, p. 204. horum . See Engelhusen's first edition, 

^ See Haym*s BibL Italian, p. 35. Hehnst 1671, 4t4. Or rather, Sci^^cr. 

edit Venez. 1741. 4to I am not sure Brunsvic I«ibnitii, torn. p. 977. £f^ 

• whether Haym's Italian translation in also Fabyanand other historians, 

the year 1477, is not the Latin of that *" See supra, voL 1. p. 143. It wiU 

year. They are both in quarto, and by occur again under Lydgate. 

Amoldo Terbone. A Florence edition ° Tragedies of Bochas, B. i. ch. xvi. 

of the translation in 1610, quarto, is said How the tronslaioure. wrote a booke of the 

to be most scarce. ^g* of Troy, called Taara bouc And 

> Sandius and Hallerwood, in t]ieir ib. St. 7.. 17. 20. edit.Waybnd. foL ixx. 

Supplement toVossius's Latin Histo- b. xxxi. a. And in Lydg. Dimb. of 

nans, in;)po8eCQlonna'sTrojan and Bri- Troy. 



S18 THE HISTORY O^ 

An old Cronike m speciall 

The which in to memmall 

Is write for \i\s^Uyoes sake. 

How that a Knight shall undertake^. 

He alludes to a story about Sir Tristram, which he supposes 
to be universally known, related in this romance. 

In everie mans mouth it is 

♦ 

How Tristram was of love dronke 
With Bele Isolde, whan this dronke 
The drinke which Bragweine him betoke, 
Er that kyng Marke, &c. p 

And Qgain, in the assembly (Clovers. 

Ther was Tristram which was beloved 
With Bele Isolde, and Lancelot 
Stood with Gonnor^, and Galahot 
With his lady^ - - - - 

The oldest edition of the Gesta Rom anorum, a manuscript 
of which I have seen in almost Saxon characters, I believe to 
be this. Incipiunt Hystarie notabiles, collecte ex Gestis 
RoMANORUM, et quibusdam aliis libris cum appUcatianibus 
eonmdem*. It is without date or place, but supposed by the 
critics in typographical antiquities to have been printed before 
or about the year 1473. Then followed a second edition at 
Louvain by John de Westfalia, with this tide : Ex Gestis 
RoMANORUM HiSTORiE NOTABILES de viciis virttUibmque 
traetantes cum applicdtumibus moraltsatis et mystids. At the 
end this colophon appears ; Gesta Romanorum cum quibu^ 
dam aliis historiis eisdem annexis ad moralitates dilucide reducta 

* Lib. It. f. 74. a. col. 9. ndne Cleonicus,&c. Kariasimiyisteprin- 
' Lib. Ti. t, ISO. b. coL 2. cepsestxps,&c. Osculabkndieiitis,&c*' 

* Geneura, Arthur's quceo. It is in rolio, in double columns, witb- 
' Lihi^viti. f. 1S8. a* eoL U out initials, pages, signatures, or catch- 

'* Piinc^u ^PompeiusregnayitiHTes, 'words. Akglik is mentioiied in cfaap- 
&c. Fm,** ** Quidam vero princeps no- ters ISS, 161, 



ENGLISH POETRY. 319 

* 
r > 

hie Jinem JiahenU Qtus diligenterj correctis aliorum vtciis^ imn 
pressit Joannes de Wesffalia^ alma in Vnivers. Louvaniensi^. 
Thb edition has twenty-nine chapters more than there are in the 
fonper : and the first of these additional chapters is the story 
of Andochus, related in our author. It is probably of the year 
1473. Another followed soon afterwards, by Gestis Roma- 
, NORUM HiSTORiE NOTABiLES morolizatce per Girardum Lieu. 
Gimda, 14?80". The next^ is at Louvain, Gesta Roma- 
NORUM, cum applicationibus moralisatis ac mysticis. — At the 
end, — Ex Gestis Romanorum cum pluribus applicatis hy- 
STORiis de virtutibus et vitiis mistice ad inteUectum transumptis 
recollectorii Jinis, Anno nos^tne salutis 1494?. In die sancti 
Adriarii martyris^. 

It was one of my reasons for giving these titles and colo- 
phons so much at large, that the reader might more folly com- 
prehend the nature and design of a performance which operated 
so powerfully on the present state of our poetry. Servius says 
that the Eneis was sometimes called Gesta populi Romani J^. 
Ammianus Marcellinus, who wrote about the year 450, men- 
tions a work called the Gestorum volumen, which, according 
to custom, was solemnly recited to the emperour*. Here per- 
haps we may perceive the ground-work of the title. 

In this mixture of moralisation and narrative, the Gesta 
Romanorum somewhat resembles the plan of Gower's poem. 
In the rubric of the story of Julius and the poor knight, our 
author alludes to this book in the expression. Hie secundum 
Gesta, &c.* When he speaks of the emperours of Rome 

V 

^ Prifcip* *' De Bilectione, cap. i. probably the edition alluded to by War- 

Pon^peius regnavit dives valde» &c.— ton. See Douce*s Illustration <» Shak- 

3!^ORAUZATio. De MisfKicoEDiA, Cap* speare, yd. ii p.S58.— Edit.] 
ii.'* De ADULTxaiOy in cap. dxxxi. It ' In quarto. Again, Paris. 1499^ 4to. 

is in auartoiy with si^^tures to Kk, The Haflen. 1508. foL Paris. 15SI. octaTO. 

initiats are written in red ink. Mr. Far- And undoubtedly otbedrs. It appeared 

mer of Cambridge has this edition. in Dutch so early as the year 1484. ftH, 

" In quarto. ^ And JEneid. yi* 75S. 

* But Ithink there is another Gouda>, * «Imperatori de more raekammv*' 

1489. foL [Mr. Douce enumerates eight Hist. xxix. i. In the title of the Saint 

editions between those of Goudas and AtBAVs cheovicue, printed 1483, TUtis 

Louvain, among which is one printed X^t'iyic^^ Testis Romanorum is recited, 
by Gerard Leeu in 149a This latter is * Lib. viii. f. 153. a. col, 1. And in 



320 THE lUSTQRY OF 

paying reverence to a virgin, he says he fi>und this cu^m 
mentioned, " Of Rome among the Gestes olde**." Yet he 
adds, that the Gestes took it from Valerius Maximus. The 
story of Tarquin and his son Arrous is ushered in with this 
line, "So as these olde Gestes seyne*^." The tale of Antio- 
chus, as I have hinted, is in the Gesta Romanorum ; although 
for some parts of it Gower was perhaps indebted to Godfrey's 
Pantheon above mentioned**. The foundation of Shakespeare's 
story of the three casketts in the Merchant of Venice, is to 
be found in this favourite collection: this is likewise in our 
author, yet in a different tbrm, who cites a Cronike^ for his 
authority. I make no apology for giving the passage some- 
what at large, as the source of this elegant little apologue, 
which seems to be of Eastern invention, has lately so much 
employed the searches of the commentators on Shakespeare, 
and that the circumstances of the story, as it is told by Gower, 
may be compared with those with which it appears in other 
books. 

The poet is speaking of a king whose officers and courtiers 
complained that, after a long attendance, they had not received 
adequate rewards, and preferments due to their services. The 
king, who was no stranger to their complaints, artfuUy con- 
trives a scheme to prove whether this defect proceeded from 
his own want of generosity, or their want of discernment 



other rubrics. In the rubric there is prosy. *^ For in Cronike thus I rede." 

also OzstA At.KXAMDRi, lib.*!!!, f. 61. a. Lib. iii. f. 46. b. col. 2. For which he 

coL 1. And in the story of Sardanapa- also cites *< the h(^ of Latme,** ib. f. 45. 

lus, "^ Hiese olde Gbstes tellen us," ub. a.coL 1. In the story of Caius Fabridus, 

iii. 167. a. ooL 1. '< In a CaoNiQua I fynde thus.** Lib.Tii. 

** lib. V. f. lis. a. coL 2. f. 157. a. coL 2. Of tlie soothsayer and 

^ Lib. TiL f. 169. a. coL 1. the emperor of Rome. « As in Caoimu 

<i See supra, p. 185. Note ^ iti8\dtholde." — « Which the Chrqnikx 

* He refers to a Cronike for other hath atitorized." Lib. vii. f. 154. b. 

stories, as the story of Lucius king of col. 1. f. 155. b. col. 2. Of the empe- 

Bome, and the king's fool. " In a Cro- rour's son who senres the Soldan of ^- 

HiKX it telleth us* Lib. vii. f. 165. a. sia.- '< There was as the Croxiqux setth, 

coL 3. Of the translation of the Ro- an emperour,*' &c. Lib. ii. f. 41. b. coL 1. 

man empire to the Lombards. *' This- For the story of Carmidotoirus consul of 

made an emperour anon, whose name, Rome, he refisrs to these oUk hokes, lib. 

the CHRO!iicLE4eUeth,wasOtbes.** Ph>l. vii. f. 157. b. col. 2. &c. && 

fol. 5. b. col. 2. Of Constantine*& 1$- 



^ 



EN GLIB H FOETAY. 321 



Anone he lette tvo cofrds ' make. 

Of one semblaace, of one xnaket 

So lyche', that no life tibilke throve ■ 

That one male fro that other knowe : 

Thei were intp his chambre brought, 

But no man wote why they be brought, 

And netheles the kynge hath JDede, 

That thei be sette in privie stede, 

As he that was of wisdome sligh, 

Whan he therto his tyme sigh**, 

All privilyche*, that none it wiste, 

His own hondes that one chist^ 

Ot^^te golde and ofjineperie ^ 

(The which oute of his tresurie 

Was take) anone he filde iull ; 

That other cofre of sir awe and muUe^y 

With stones mened^ he filde also : 

Thus be thei full both tho. 

Hie king asseml^ his courtiers, and shewing than the 
two chests, acquaints them, that one of these is filled with gold 
and jewels ; that they should chuse whidi of die two they liked 
best, and that the contents should instantly be distributed 
among them all. A knight by common consent is appointed 
tD chuse for them^ who fixes upon the chest filled with straw 
and stones. 

This kynge then in the same stede", 
Anone that other cofre undede^ 
Whereas thei sawen grete richesse 
Wile more than thei couthen gesse. 
** Lo," saitjh the kynge, "now male ye see 
That there is no default in mee > 

f coffers ; chests. ^ chest. 

' Hke. ^ saw. ^ gems. ^ rubbish. 

» privily. ■ place. 

VOL. TI. y 



S22 THE HISTORY OF 

Fortby ®, myself I will I acquite, 

And beareth your own wite 

Of that fortune hath you refused." ^ 

It must be confessed, that there is a much greater imd a 
more beautiful variety of incidents in this story as it is related 
in the Gesta Romanorum, which Shakespeare has followed, 
than in Gower : and was it not demonstrable, that this compi- 
lation preceded our author's age by some centuries, one would 
be tempted to conclude, that Gower's story was the original 
&ble in its simple unimproved' state. Whatever was the case, 
it is almost certain that one story produced the other. 

A translation into English of the Gesta Romanorum was 
printed by Wynkyn de Worde, without date. In the year 
1577, one Richard Robinson published A Record of ancient 
Historyes, in Latin Gesta Romanorum, perused^ correctedy 
and bettered^ by R. Robinsoti^ London^ 1577*'. Of this trans- 
lation there were six impressions before the year 1601 % The 
later editions, both Latin and English, differ considerably from 
a manuscript belonging to the British MusemnS which con- 

"" therefore. ' MSS. HarL 227a 1. See ibicL cap. 

' Lib. T. f. Se. a. col. 1. seq. The xcix. for this story. Tit. ** Liber Aace- 

story which follows is somewhat similar, ticu$ cui Hlulus Gesta Romanorum, cum 

in which the emperor Frederick places Reductionibus the Moralitatibus eorun» 

before two beggars two pasties, one filled denu** There is an English traaslatioa, 

with capons, the other with florins, ibid* ibid. l^SS. Harl. 7S3S. This ha» the 

b. eol. 2. Jew's bond and the Catkctts, In the same 

* In twelves. See among the Royal library there is a large collection of le-; 

Manuscripts, Brit. Mus. ** Kichard Ro- gendary tales in different hands, written 

binson's EupOlemia, Archippus and P»> on parchment, Svo. MSS. HarL 2316. 

noplia : beine an account'of his'Falrons One of these' is, << De vera Ataoicitia, et 

and Benefactions, &c. 1609.** SeefoL5. de Passione Cbristi: Narratio a Petro 

MSa Reg. 18. A Ixvi. This R. Ro- Alphonso.'* 18. fol. 8. b. The history 

binson, I believe, published Fori of the of the two friends here related, is told 

karmonjf of king DawCs harp. A trans- more at large In the Gssta RoMANoauM, 

latlon of the first twenty-ooe psalms, tor where the friends are two knights. Pe- 

J. Wolfe, 1582. 4to. A translation of ter Alphonsus lived about llja This 

Leland's AssEaTio AaTBuai, for Ihe tale, I think, is Lydgate^syoMa duontm 

tame, 15^2. 4to. The aundef^ order «»- m erc at orm m f MSS. HarL2251.S3.foL5e. 

detie, ^. of prince jtrthure, and hit ** In Eg^pt whilom,** &c See also 2255. 

knightfy armory of the round tabie, in 17. foL 72. Manuscripts of these Gcsta 

Terse, for the same, 1583, 4to. occur thrice in the Bodleian library. 

' There is an edition, in black letter, MSS. BodL B. 3. 10. Ibid, super 0. 1. 

ao late as 1689. Art 1 7. And Hyper. Bodl. (Cod. Giav. ) 



El^GLISH POETKY. 323 

tains not only the story of the Casketts in Shakespeare's 
Merchant of Venice, but that of the Jew's Bond in the 
same play'. I cannot exactly ascertain the age of this piece, 
which has many fictitious and fabulous facts intermixed with 
true history ; nor have I been able to discover the name of its 
compiler. 

It appears to me to have been formed on the model of Va- 
lerius Maximus, the favourite classic of the monks. It is 
quoted and commended as a true history, among many histo^ 
nans of credit, such as Josephus, Orosius, Bede, and £usebiu8> 
by Herman Komer, a dominican friar of Lubec, who wrote a 
Chronica Novella, or history of the world, in the year 1435 ^* 

In speaking of our author's sources, I must not omit a book 
translated by the unfortunate Antony Widville, first earl of 
Rivers, chiefly with a view of proving its early popularity. It 
is the Dictes or Sayings of Philosophres^ which lord Rivers 
translated from the French of William de Thignonville, pro- 
vost of the city of Paris about the year 1408, entitled L^s 
dictes moraux des philosopheSy les dictes des sagts et les secrets 
d^Aristote". The English translation was printed by Caxton, 
in the year 1477. Gower refers to this tract, which first exf 
isted.in Latin, more than once; and it is most probable, that 
he consulted the Latin original^* 

B. 55* S. ¥12. NarraHones breve$e Gsstis ascertaihj Apud Fabric. BibL Med* Inf. 
RoMANO&uM et aUorum. But this last Latinitat. iv. 722. Compare de Gestis 
seems rather a defloration. In Hereford Imperatorum Liber, MSS. Harl. 5259. i* 
cathedral, 7S. In Worcester cathedral, * ch. xlviiL 

80. In (late) Burscough's (rector cff ^ See £ccard*s Corp. Histoid, torn. ii. 

Totness) MSS. Cod. 82. 1. In (kte) p. 432 — 1343. Lips. 1723./oL 
Sir SymondsD*£we8*s MSS. Cod. 15a 2. " See Mtim. de Litt. xvii. 745« 4to. 
In Trinity college Dublin, G. S26> At ^ Among these other << tales wise of 

Oxford, Saint John's coUege twice, pkSotophert in this wise I rede,'* &e. 

C. Sl. 2. G. 41. Magdalen college, lib. vii. f. 143. a< coL 1. f. 142.b. C(^2. 
twice, Cod. Lat. 13. 60. Lincoln col- &c. See Walpole's Cat. royal and nolAe 
l^e Libr. IheoL 60. See what is said authors. There is another translatioQ, 
ofGetitf supr. yoL i. p. 78. Among the done in 1450, dedicated to Sir John Faa- 
manuscript books wiitteii by Lapus de tolfe, knight, by his son-in-law Stevyn 
CastelHone, a Florentine civilian, and a Scrope Sqnyer. MSS. Haii. 2265. Wil- 
great translator from Greek into Latin, liam de Thignonville is here said to have 
about the year 1350, Balusius mentions translated this book into French for the 
De Origine Urbis Roma, et de Gettis Ro- use of king Charles the Sixth. 
maitorum. What this piece is I cannot 

Y 2 



S24 THE HISTORY OF 

It is pleasant to observe the strange mistakes wbidi Gower, 
a man of great learning, and the most gcsieral scholar of his 
age, has committed in this poejn^ concerning books whidi he 
never saw^ his violent anachronisms, and misrepresentadons 
•f die most common fiu^ts and characters. He menticms the 
Greek poet Menander, as one of the first historians, or "first 
-enditours of the olde crpnike," together with Esdras, SoHnus, 
Josephus, Claudius Salpicius, Termegis, Pandulfe, FrigidiUes, 
Ephiloquorus, and Pandas, tt is extraordinary that Moses 
should not here be mentioned, in preference to Esdras. SoHnus 
is ranked so high, because he recorded nothing but wonders'; 
and Josephus, on account of his subject, had long been placed 
almost on a level with the Bible. He is seated on the first 
pillar in Chaucer's House op Fame. His Jewish History, 
trandated into Latin by Rufinus in the fourth century, had 
given rise to many old poems and romances ^ : and his Mac- 
CABAIC8, or History of the seven Maccabees martyred widi their 
father Eleazor under the persecution of Antiochus f4)iphane8, 
a separate wcH'k, translated also by Rufinus, produced the Judas 
Maccabee of Belleperche in the year 1240, and at length 
enrolled the Maccabees among the most illustrious heroes of 
romance*. On this account too, perhaps, Esdras is here so 
respectably remembered. I suppose Sulpicius is Sulpidus Se- 
verus, a petty annalist of the fifth century. Termegis is probably 
Trismegistus, the mystic philosopher, certainly not an historian, 
at least not an antient one. Pandulf seems to be Pandulph of 
Pisa, who wrote lives of the popes, and died in the yeair 1198". 

' Our author has a story from Solinus 1554. See the ^ Collawa Grxca, in 

' conceminga monstrous bird, lib. in. f. 62. Haym*g Bibliothec p. 6. 7. A French 

b.'co). 2. Seesupr. rtA, i. p. 102. Note**, translation wa9 made in 14^ or 146S. 

y See 61lprie^ p. 5a 147. There is Cod. Reg. Paris. 7015. 

Jossmut de ia Battaille JtmAiQus * See tupr. p. 50. In the British 

tramUuS de Latin tn Franqois, printed Museum tliere is ** Maccabeorum et 

^by Verard at Paris, 148a foL I think JosephiHistorianim£mt0me,metrice.*' 

it is a poem. AllJosephus*8 works Were 10 A. viii. 5. MSS. Reg. See MSS. 

printed in the old. Latin translation, at Hari. 57 IS. 

Verona, 1480. fol. And^^uently soon * See the story, in our author, of pope 

-afterwards. They were translated into Boniface supplanting Celestine. ** In a 

French, German, Spanish, and Italian, Croktke of tyme ago." Lib. ii. f. 42. 

and printed, between the years 1492 and a. col. 2. 



£NGl^IIM< FOETRy. 325 

FrigidiUes is perhaps Freg^daire, a Burgundian, wlio flourished 
about the year 64 1^ and wrote a chronicon from Adam to hi$ 
<^wn times ; <^n priut^d, and containing the best account of 
tfee Franks after Gr^ry of Tours''. Our author, who has 
partly suffered from ignorai^t transcribers and printers, by 
E^iloqw»*us undoubtedly intended Eutropius. In the next 
pai:^prapb> indeed, he mentions Herodotus : yet not as an early 
historian, but. as the first writer of a system of the metrical art, 
'*of metre, of ryme, and of eadpnce^.*' We smile, when 
Hector in Shakespeare quotes Aristotle : but Gower gravely 
in£bnns his reader, that Ulysses was a clerke^ accomplished 
with a knowledge of all the sciences, a great rhetorician and 
magician : that be learned rhetoric of TuUy, magic of 2iOroaster, 
astr^omy of Ptojoapy, phik>sophy of Plato, divination of th€| 
prophet Daniel, proverbial instruction of Solomon, botany of 
Macer, and medicine of Hippocrates^. And in the seventh 
book, Aristotle, or the philosophre^ is introduced reciting to hi^ 
scholar Alexander the Great, a disputation between a Jew and 
a Pagan, who meet between Cairo and Babylon, concerning 
their respective religions: the end of the story is to shew the 
cunning, cnu^ty, and ingratitude of the Jew, which £U'e at last 
deservedly punished ^ But I believe Gow^s apology must 
be, diat he took this narrative from some christian legend, whi(^ 
was feigned« for a religious purpose^ at liie e^pence of all pro* 
babitoy and pr<^rie^. 

The only classic Roman writers which our ^uthpr ^tai s^p 
Virgil, Ovid, Horace, and Tully. Among the Italian poets, 
one is surprised he should not quote Petrarc^i : he mentions 
Dante only, who in the rubric is called " a certain poet of 

** See Riiinart. Dissertat. d? Fredega- of Borne by Totilai Greg«r. Turonens. 

rio ejusque Operibus. torn. li. Hist. Hist Francor. lib. ii. cap. 8« 9. If this 

Fcaac. p> 443; There is also Fridego- last be th? writer in the te^ ^ manti- 

dt|8, a monk of Dover, who wrote the peript of Frigcridus^s. History iqjight have 

lives of some sainted Inshops about the existed in Gower*» ^ge, which is qqy 

year 960. And a Frigeridusi known Jest. 

only \ff ^ reference which Gregpry of * Lib. vi. f. 76. b. col. 1. 

Tours makes to the tweWh booh ^ his .* lab. vi» f. 135. n* col. I, 

History, concerning the tunes preceding * Lib. vii. i\ 156» b. coL % 
Valentinian the Tliird, and the capture 



S26 THE HISTORY OF 

Italy named Dante," quidampoeta Italia ^t Dante vocabaiur ^« 
He appears to have been well acquainted with the Homilies 
of pope Or^ory the great', which were translated into Italian, 
and printed at Milan, so early as the year 1479. I can hardly 
decypher, and must therefore be excused from transcribing, the 
names of all the renowned authors which our author has quoted 
in alchemy, astrology, magic, palmistry, geomancy, and other 
branches of the occult philosophy. Aniong the astrological 
writers, he mentions Noah, Abraham, and Moses. But he is not 
sure that Abraham was an author, having never seen any of that 
patriarch's works: and he prefers Trismegistus to Moses**. 
Cabalistical tracts were however extant, not only under the 
names of Abraham, Noah, and Moses, but of Adam, Abel, 
and Enoch ^ He mentions, with particular regard, Ptolom/s 
Almagest ; the grand source of all the superstitious notions 
propagated by the Arabian philosophers concerning the science 
of divination by the stars ^. These in&tuations seem to have 
completed their triumph over human credulity in Gower^s age, 
who probably was w ingenious adept in the false and frivolous 
speculations of this admired species of study. 

Gower, amidst his graver literature, appears to have been a 
great reader of romances. The lover, in speaking of the gra- 
tification which his passion receives from the sense of hearing, 
says, that to hear his lady speak is more delicious, than to feast 
on all the dainties that x^uld be compounded by a cook of 
Lombardy. They are not so restorative 

As bin the wordes of hir mouth ; 
For as the wyndes of the South 
Ben most of all debonaire, 
jSo yrhtn hir lust' to speak faire^ 

' lib. vii. f. 154. b. cpl. 1. ^ Mabillon mentions, in a manuscript 

' Pn^og. f. 2. b. col. 1. Lib. ▼. f. 93^ of tbe Almaobst written beforetbe year 

fu col. 1. 2. f. 94. a. coL I. 1240, a drawing of Ptolomy, holding a * 

^ Lib. yii. f. 134. b. col. 1. vH. f. 149. mimniis not an optical tube,*in his hand, 

b. coL 1. and contemplating the stars. Itin. Gar- 

^ See supra, p. 229. Note **. And manic, p. 49. 

Morhof. Folybist. torn. ii. p. 455. seq. i she chuses, 
edit. 1747. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 327 

The vertue of her goodly speche 
Is verily myne hartes leche". 

These are elegant verses. To hear her sing is paradise. 
Then he adds, 

Full oft tyme it falleth so, 
My ere" with a good pitance 
Is kA oi redynge of romance 
or Idoyne ai\d Amadas, 
That whilom were in my cas; 
And eke of othevy many a scare. 
That loved long ere I was bore** : 
For when I of her p loves rede, 
Myn ere with the tale I fede; 
And with the lust of her histoire. 
Sometime I draw into memoire, 
Howe sorrowe may not ever last. 
And so hope comith in at last^. 

The romance of Idoyne and Am adaIs is recited as a favourite 
history among others, in the prologue to a collection of legends 
called Cursor mundi, translated from the French ^ 1 have 
already deserved our poe^s references to Sir Lancelot's ro- 
mance. 

Our author's account of the progress of the Latin language 
is extremely curious. He supposes that it was invented by the 
old Tuscan prophetess X)armens; that it was reduced to me- 
thod, to composition, pronimciation, and prosody, by the gram- 
marians Aristarchus, Donatus, and Didjrmus : adorned with 
the flowers of eloquence and rhetoric by Tully: then enriched 
by translations from the Chaldee, Arabic, and Greek languages, 
more especially by the version of the Hebrew bible into Latin 
by Saint Jerom, in the fourth century : and that at length, after 
the labours of many celebrated writers, k received its final con- 
summation in Ovid, the poet of lovers. At the mention of 

" phjrsician. " ear. •* Lib. yi, f. 133. a. col. 2. 

" born. ^ their. ' Sec supr. vol. 1. p. 127. Note *, 



1S2I8 THE msToav o# 

Ovid's name, the poet^ with the dextarity and address of a true 
master of transition, seizes the critical mom^t of bringing back 
the dialogue to its prqper argument** 

The CoNFESSio Amantis was most probably written after 
Chaucer's Troilus and Cressiqa. At the dose of the poem, 
we are presented with an assemblage of the most illustrious 
lovers ^ Together with the renowned heroes and heroines of 
love, mentioned either in romantic or classical history, we have 
David and Bathsheba, Sampson and Dalila, and Solomon 
with all his concubines. Virgil, also, Socrates, Plato, and 
Ovid, are enumerated as lovers. Nor must we be surprised to 
find Aristotle honoured with a place in this gallant groupe : 
for whom, says the poet, the queen of Greece made such a 
syllogism as destroyed all his lo^c. But, among the resf^ 
Troilus and Cressida are introduced; seemingly with an inten- 
tion of pa}dng a compliment to Chaucer's poem on their story, 
which had been submitted to Gower's correction "• Although 
this famous pair had been also recently celebrated in Boccacio's 
FiLOSTjuTO ^. And in another place, speaking of his absolute 
idevotion to his lady's will, he dedareshunadfra^y to ac^piiesde 
in her choice, whatsoever she shall command: whether, if 
when dred of dan<:iiig and caroling^ she should ohuse to play 
at chess, or read Troilus and Cressida* This is certainly 
Chaucer's (K^etn. 

That when her li§t on nighty; wake 
Jn cjiambre, as to carol and daunce, 
Methinke I maie me more avaunce. 
If I may gonp upop hir honde, 
Tb^ if I Wynne a kynges lon(le* 
Fpr wh^^n I maie h^r hand beclip **, 
With such gladness I daunce and skip, 
Methinketh I touch not the fjoore ; 
The roe which reoueth on the moore 

• Lib. IV. f. 77. b. col. 9. 'Sec supr. p. 220, 221. 

< Lib. viii. f. 158. *. coL «. " dasp. 

1" ChaucerVTr. Cress. Urr.edit.p. 333. 



INGLISH POETRY. 

Is than nought so light as L ' ■ 
And whan it falleth other gate'. 
So that hir liketh not to daunce, 
But on the dyes to cast a chaunce, 
Or aske of love some demaunde; 
Or els that her list commaunde 
To rede and here of Troilus "f. 

That this poem was written after Chaucer's Floube and 
Leafe, may be partly collected from the following passage, 
which appears to be an imitation of Chaucer, and is no bad 
specimen of Gower's most poetical manner. Rosiphele, a 
beautiful princess, but setting love at defiance, the daughter of 
Herupus king of Armenia, is taught obedience to the laws of 
Cupid by -seeing a vision of Ladies. 

Whan come was the moneth of Maie, 

She wolde walke upon a daie. 

And that was er the son arist*. 

Of women but a fewe it wist* ; 

And forth she went prively. 

Unto a parke was &ste by. 

All softe walkende on the gras, 

Tyll she came there** the launde was 

Through which ran a great rivere. 

It thought her fayre ; and said, here 

I will abide under the shawe ; 

And bad hir women to withdrawe : 

And ther she stood alone stiUe 

To thinke what was in her wille. 

She sighe*^ the swete floures sprynge. 

She herde glad fowles synge ; 

19ie sigh beastes in her kynde. 

The buck, the doo^ the hert, the hynde, 

* gaiety, or way. * " But a few of her women knew of 
y Lib. IT. f. 7a. t>. col. I. this." 

* arose. *» there where- * a^w. 



930 THE HISTORY OF 

The males go with the femele : 
And so began there a quarele^ 
Betwene love and her owne herte 
Fro whiche she couthe rtot asterte. 
And as she cast hir eie aboate, 
She sigh, clad in one suit, u route 
Of ladies where thei comen ride 
Alonge imder the woodde side ; 
On fayre ambulende * hors thei set, 
That were^ whjrte, fayre, and gret; 
And everichone ride on side ^^ 
The sadels were of such a pride, 
So riche sighe she never none ; 
With perles and golde so wel begone. 
In kirtels and in copes riche 
Thei were clothed all aliche^. 
Departed even of white and blewe, 
With all lustes** that she knewe 
Thei wer embroudred over all : 
^Her* bodies weren longe and small, 
The beautee of hir fayre face. 
There mai none erthly thing deface : 
Corownes on their heades thdi bare. 
As eche of hem a queue were. 
That all the golde of Cresus hall 
The least coronall of all -^ 

Might not have boughte, after the worth, 
Thus comen thei ridend forthe. 
The kynges doughter, whiche this sigh, 
For pure abasshe drewe hir adrigh, 
And helde hir close undir the bough. 

At length she sees riding in the rear of this splendid troop, 
on a horse lean, galled, and lame, a beautiful lady in a tattered 
garment, her saddle mean and much worn, but her bridle ridily 

^ dispute. * ambling. ■ alike. * lists; coloun. 

f A mark of high rank. * (heir. 



ENGLISH POETRY. SSI 

Studded with gold and jewels : and rotufid her wust were more 
than an hundred halters. The princess asks the meaning of 
this strange procession ; and is answered by the lady on the 
lean horse, that these are spectres of ladies, who^ when living, 
were obedient and faithful votaries of love. ** As to myself," 
she adds, ^^ I am now receiving my annual penance for being 
a rebel to love." 

For I whilom no love had ; 

My horse is now feble and badde, 

And al to torn is myn araie ; 

And everie year this freshe Male 

These lustie ladies ride aboute, 

And I must nedes sew*^ her route, 

In this manner as ye nowe see. 

And trusse her hallters forth with mee, 

And am but her horse knave ^ 

The princess then asks her, why she wore the rich bridle, 
so inconsistent with the rest of .her furniture, her dress, and 
horse? The lady answers, that it was a badge and reward for 
having loved a knight faithfully for the last fortnight of her life. 

*^ Now have ye herde all mine answere; 
To god, madam, I you betake, 
And wameth all, for my sake, 
Of love, that thei be not idell, 
And bid hem tliinke of my bridell." 
And with that worde, all sodenly 
She passeth, as it were a skie"*. 
All clean out of the ladies sight "• 

My readers will easily conjecture the change which this spec- 
tacle must naturally produce in the obdurate heart of the prin- 
cess of Arm^a. There is a farther proof that the Floure 
AND Leafe preceded the CoNFESSio Amantis. In the eighth 
book, oiu* author's lovers are crowned with the Flower and Leaf. 

^ follow. "* 8 shadow ; Itmm, umhra, 

' Uieir groom* " liib. iv. f. 70. leq. 



332 TH^ KisTaay or 

Mjn ei^ I caste all aboutes, 
To knowe amonge hem who was who : 
' I sigh where lustie Youth tho, 
As he which was a capitayne 
Before all oAers on the playne, 
Stode with his route wel begon: 
Her heades kempt, and thereupon 
Garlondes not of one colour, 
Some of the lefe^ some o( the^fiourCf 
And some of grete perles were: 
The new guise of Beme° was there, &c.p 

I believe on the wholje, that Chaucer had published most of 
his poems before thij? piece of Gqwer appeared. Chaucer had 
not however at this time written his Testament of Love : 
for Gower, in a, sort of Epilogue to the Confessiq Amantis, 
is addressed by Venus, who commands him to ^eet Chaucer 
as her favourite poet and disciple, as one who had employed 
his youth in composing song$ and ditties to her honour. She 
adds at the close, 

For thy, now in his dates olde. 
Thou shalt hym tell this message, 
That he Upon his later age 
To sette an ende of all his werke 
As he, which is myne owne clerke, 
Do make his Testament of Love, 
As thou hast done thy shrifte above : 
So that my couit it male recorde**. 

Chaucer at this time was sixty-five years of age. The Court 
of Love, one of the pedantries of French gallantry, occurs often. 
In an address to Venus, " Madame, I am a man of tliyne, that 
in thy Couute hath served long^** The lover observes, that 
for want of patience, a man ought " among^ the women alle, 
in Loves Coubte, hy judgement the name beare of paciaiit '." 

*• Boeme; Bohemia. ^ Lib. viii. f. 190. b. col. 1. 

^ Lib. yii. ft 18& a. c«L 1* $e« supr. ' Lib. i. f. 8. b. col. 1. 
p. SOI, 302. ^ * Lib. iii. f. 51, a. col. 1. 



SNGLISH POETRY. 93$ 

The confessor declares, that many persons are condemned for 
disclosing secrets, *^ In Loves Courts, as it is said, that lette 
ibeir tonges gone imtide^" By 7%y Shrifte, the author 
means his own po^n now before us, the Lover's Confessiok. 
There are also many manifest evidences which lead us to 
conclude, that this poem precede Chaucer's Canterbury's 
Tales, undoubtedly some of that poet's latest compositions, 
and probably not begun till after the year 1382. The Man 
OF La WES Tale is circumstantially borrowed from Gower's 
CoNSTANTiA": and Chaucer, in that Tale, apparently c^i* 
•sures Gower, for his manner of relating the stories of Canace 
•and Apollonius in the third and eighth books of the Confessio 
Amantis^. The Wife of Bathes Tale is founded on 
Gower's Florent, a knight of Rome, who delivers the king o[ 
Sicily's daughter from the incantations of her step-mother'. 

* Lib. ill. f. 52. a* col. I. See supf. made by one Gabriel Contianus', a Gre- 

p. 295. In the tame strain we have dan, about the year 1500, as appei^v by 

Cupid*s/Nirfemen/. lab. viii. f. 187. b. a manuscript in the imperial library at 

ToL 2. Vienna* ; and printed at Venice in 1 503. 

" Conf. Amant. Lib. ii. f. sa b. col. 2. [See supr. p. 184. Note K ] Salviati, in bis 

See particularly, ibid. f. 35. b. col. 2. a. jtwertimentif mentions an Italian ro» 

coL 1. And compare Ch, Man or L. T. mance on this subject, which he suiq>ose8 

▼. 5505. '< Some men wold sayn, &c *' to have been written about the year 1 330. 

That is, GowsR. Lib. iL c 12. Velser first published this 

^ See Chaucer, ibid. ▼. 4500i And romance in Latin at Ausburgh, in 1595. 

Conf. Amant. Lib. iiL f. 48. a. col. 1. 4to. The story is here mucn more ele- 

•seq. Lib. riii. f. 175. a« col. 2. seq. I gantly told, than in the Gksta Roma- 

have just discovered, that the favourite norum. In Godfrey of Viterbo*s Fak- 

story of Apollonius, having appeared in theon, it is in Leonine verse. There 

antient Greek, Latbi, Saxon, barbarous has been even a German translation of 

Greek, and old French, was at length this favorite tale, viz. ** Historia Apfol- 

translated from French Into English, lovn Ttkim et Sidoniie regis ex Latino 

and printed in the black letter, by Wyn-. sermone in Germanicum translata. Au- 

kyndeWorde, A.D. 1510. 4to. <<Kynge gust VindeL apxid Gintherum Zainer, 

Appolynof Thyre.** [See supr. p. 184. 1471. fol." At the end is a German 

Note M A copy is in my possession. colophon, importing much the saihe.— 

[A Grecchbaibarous translation of the Additions.] 

romance of Atollomivs op Ttre was ' Lib. t f. 15. b. col. 2. 



* TmCfutiX K»*rim9$f, Perhaps K*H'«»«'<y«#. 

' Lambecc. Catat^ Bdil. Cjisar. Nesselii Suppl. torn. i. p. 341. MSS. Gnte, 
cnuY. (yind. et Norinb. 169a foL) Pr. «MiJ#$«»r« U^ri xe<r*.** Fin. « n»inmm 
7* Ar$x*'e^* rcCffiU. K*9Tiiw,** &c. This is in prose. But under this class of the 
imperial Ubrary, Nesselius recites many manuscript poems in the Greco-barbarous 
metre of the fifteenth century or thereabouts, viz. The Loves of Hemperius ; 
JDescriptum tf the city of Venice; The Bonumce of Fforius an4 Platxfloraj The 
BHndneti and Beggary of BeUtarius ; The Trqfan War ; Of Hell ; Of an Earthquake 
4n the Isle of Crete^ &c. These were all written at the restoratioii of Learning in 
Italy. [See vol. i. p. I82..pa8Bim4J ~ 



SSi THE HISTORY OF 

Although the Gesta Romanorum might have furnished both 
poets with this narrative. Chaucer, however, anumg other great 
improvements, has judiciously departed from' the fable, in con- 
verting Sicily into the more popular court of king Arthur. 

Perhaps, in estimating Gower's merit, I have pushed the 
notion too fiu*, that because he shews so much learning he had 
no great share of natural abilities. But it should be considered, 
that when bodes began to grow fashionable, and the reputadoa 
of learning conferred the highest honour, poets became aml»^ 
tMMis of being thought scholars; and sacrificed their native 
powers of invention to the ostentation of displaying an exten* 
sive course of reading, and to the pride of profound erudition. 
On this account, the minstrels of these times, who were totally 
imeducated, and poured forth spontaneous rhymes in obedience 
to the workings of nature, often exhibit more genuine stroke 
of passion and imagination, than the professed poets* Chancer 
is an exception to this observation: whose original feelings 
were too strong to be suppressed by books, and whose learn- 
ing was overbalanced by genius. 

This affectation of appearing learned, which yet was natural 
at tlie revival of literature, in our old poets, even in those who 
were altogetlier destitute of tal^its, has lost to posterity many 
a curious picture of manners, and many a romantic image. 
Some of our antient bards, however, aimed at no other merits 
than that of being able to versify ; and attempted nothing more^ 
tlian to cloatli in rhyme those sentiments, which would have 
appeared with equal propriety in prose. 

In lord Gower's library, there is a thin oblong manuscript 
ion vellum, containing some of Gower's poems in Latin, French, 
and English. By an entry in the first leaf, in the hand^writing^ 
and under the signature, of Thomas lord Fairfax, CrOn^welPs 
general, an antiquarian, and a lover, and collector of curious 
manuscripts y, it appears that this book was presented by the 
poet Gower, about the year 1400, to Henry the Fourth; and 

y He gave twen^-nine antient manu- cord-tower in St. Mary's abbey at York 

scripts to; the Bodleian library, one of was accidentally blown up in the grand 

which is ft beautiful manuscript of Gow- rebellipn, he offered lewards to the sol- 

er*s Confessio Amantis. When the Ro- diers Who could bring him fragments of 



ENGLISH POETRY. 335 

that it was given by IcM-d Fairfax to his Jriend and kinsman sir 
Thomas Gower kodgbt and baronet, in the year 1656. By 
another entry, lord Fairfax acknowledges to have received 
it, in the same year, as a present, from that learned gentleman 
Charles Gedde esquire, of saint Andrews in Scotland : and at 
the end, are five or six Latin anagrams on Gedde, written and 
signed by lord Fair&x, with this title, *'In nomen venerandi 
et annosi Amici sui Caroli GeddeL" By king Henry the Fourth 
it seems to have been placed in the royal library : it af^)ears at 
least to have been in the hands of king Henry the Seventh 
while earl of Richmond, from the name Itychemondj inserted 
in another of the blank leaves at the beginning, and explained 
by this note, ^^ Liber Henrici Sq>timi tunc Comitis Richmond, 
propria manu scripsit" This manuscript is neatly vmtten, 
with miniated and illuminated initials : and ccmtmns the follow-^ 
ing pieces. L A Panegyric in stanzas, with a Latin prdogue 
or rubric in seven hexameters, on king Henry the Fourth. 
This poem, commonly called Carmen de pads Commendatione 
in laudem Henrici Quartij is printed in Chaucer's Works, 
edit. VrVf p. 540. — IL A short Latin poem in el^iacs on 
the same subject, beginning, ^^ Rex codi deus et dominus qui 
tempora solus*" [MSS. Cotton. Otho. D. i. 4.] This 
is followed by ten other very short pieces, both in French 
and English, [Latin] of the same tendency. — IIL Cinkante 
Balades, or Fifty Sonnets in French. Part of the first is 
illegible. They are closed with the following epilogue and 
colophon. 

the scattered parchments. Luckily, how- than when that city was m the possession 

ever, the numerous original evidences of the royalists. 

lodged in this repository had been just * [The minute title of this [Latin 
before transcribed by Roger Dodsworth ; poeml is at the close of the English poem, 
and the transcripts, which ^rmed the and does not exactly accord with Mr. 
ground-woriL^Dugdale'sMoKAsncoN, Warton*s assertion: "Explicit carmen de 
consisdiig of forty-nine lai^ folio vo- pads commendatione quod ad laudem 
lumes, were bequeathed by Fairfax to etmeraoriam serenissimi princi]Hs do- 
tfae same library. Fairfax also, when mini Reg^s Henrici quarti suus humilis 
Oxford was garrisoned by the parliamen- orator Johannes Gower composuit. JEt 
tary forces, exerted his utmost diligence nunc seqvUur JEjnstola in qua idem Jo- 
in preserving the Bodleian library from hannes jtro statu et salute (Ucti domirU sui 
I»liage; so that it suffered much less, aUissmi devocius exorat,"'^Toj>ji,] 



SS6 THE HISTORY Of 

O gentile Engleterre a txA lescritBy 
Pour remembrer ta ioie qest noueUe, 
Qe te survient du noble Roy HenriBi 
Par qui dieus ad redrestit ta querelc^ 
A dieu ptcrceo prient et cil et ceUe» 
Qil de sa grace^ au fort R<h corane, 
Doignt peas, honour, icne et pro^rite. 

ExpUciwU cartnina Johis Gawer que GaUioe compoiita Balades 
dicuntur. — IV. Two short Latin poesEis in elegiacs* TThe. First 
beginning, " Ecce patei tensus ced Cupidink ai^cusJ* The Se- 
cond, ^^ONaiuraviripaiuHquam toller enemo,^^ — V. A French 
poem, imperfect at the beginning, On the Dignity or Excellence 
qf Marriage^ in one book. The subject is illustrated by ex* 
amples. As no part of this poem was ever printed, I transcribe 
one of the stories. 

. QmUter Jeison uxorem mam Medeam relinquens, Creuiom 
Creantis regis Jlliam sibi carnaliier cop%davU» Ferum ipse €un 
daobmJUiis suis postea i^fartunaius Idecessit^* 

Li prus Jason qeu lisle de Cc^hos 
Le toison dor, pour laide de Medee 
Conquist dont il donour portoit grant loos 
Par tout le monde encourt la renomee 
La joefiie dame one soi ad amenee 
De son pays en Grece et le$pousa 
Ffrenite espousaile dieus le vengera. 

Quant Medea meulx qui de etre en repos 
Ove son mari et qeUe avoit porte 
' Deux fils de luy lors changea le purpos 

El qelle Jason permer futst oblige 
II ad del tout Medeam refuse 
Si prist la file au roi Creon Creusa 
Ffrenite espousaile dieux le vengera. 
Medea qot le coer de dolour cloos 
En son corous et ceo fuist grant pite 



ENOLISH POETRY. 3S7 

&s jodhes fild queux et jadis en clos 
Venii ses costees ensi com forseuee 
Devont ses oels Jason ele ad tue 
Ceo qeu fuist fiut pecche le fortuna 
Ffrenite espousaile dieux le vengera* 

Towards the end of the piece, the poet introduces an apology 
for any inaccuracies, which, as an Englishman, he may have 
committed in the French idiom« 

Al wiiversite de tout le monde 
JoHAN GowER ceste Balade evoie; 
£t si ieo nai de Francois la faconde, 
Pardonetz moi qe ieo de ceo forsvoie. 
Jeo suis Englois : si quier par tiele voie 
Estre excuse mais quoique mills endie 
L'amour parfait en dieu se justiifie* 

It is finished with a few Latin hexameters^ y'vL << Quis sit vel 
qualis saoer ordo connubialis«" This poem occurs At the end 
of two valuable folio manuscripts, illulninated and on vellum, 
of the CoNFESSio Amantis, in the Bodleian library, vife. MSS» 
Fairfax, iii* And NEL F. 8. 9« Also in the manuscript at All 
Souls college Oxford, MSS. xxvL described and cited above* 
And in MSS* Harl. 3869. In all these, and, I believe, in 
many others, it is properly connected with the Confessio 
Amantis by the following rubric* '^Puisqu'U ad dit cide- 
VANT en Enolois, par voie dessample, la sotte de cellui qui par 
amours aimie j)ar especial, dirra ore apres en Francois a t6ut 
le m(Hid en general une traitie selonc les auctors, pour essem** 
plar les amants mariez," &c<» It begins^ 

Le creature du tout creature* 

But the CiNguAKTE Balades, or fifty French Sonnets 
above mentioned, are the curious and valuable part of lord 
Gower^s manuscript Theyx are not mentioned by those who 
have written the Life of this poet, or have catalogued his work?* 
Nor do they appear in any other manuscript of Gower w I 
have examined. But if they should be discovered in any other, 
I will venture to pronounce, that a more authentic, unembnr- 

VOL. ri. z 



338 THEHISTORYOF 

rassed, and practicable copy than this be£>re us, will not be 
produced : although it is for the most part unpointed, and ob- 
sciured with abbreviations, and with those mis|)eIUngs which 
flowed from a scribe unacquainted with die Frendi language. 
To say no more, however, of the value whidi these little 
pieces may derive from being so scarce and so litde known^ 
they have much real and intrinsic merit They are tender, 
pathetic, and poetical ; and place our old poet Oower in a more 
advantageous point of view than that in which he has hitherto 
been usually seen. I know not if any even among the French 
poets themselves, of this period, have left a set of more finished 
sonnets : for they were probably written when Gower was a 
young man, about the year 1 550. Nor had yet any English poet 
treated the passion of love with equal delicacy of sentiment, and 
elegance of composition. I will transcribe four of these balades as 
correctly and intelligibly as I am able : although I must confess, 
there are dome lines which I do not exactly comprehend. 

BaLADS XXXVI. . . 

Pour C(miparer cejoUf temps de Maij, 

Jeole dirrai semblable a Paradis; 

Car lors chantont et merle et papegai, 

Les champs sont vert, les herbes sont floris ; 

Lots est Nature dame du paijs: 

Dont Venus poignt Tamant au tiel assai, 

Qenccntre amour nest qui poet dire Nai^ 
Quant tout ceo voi, et que ieo penserid, 

> Coment Nature ad tout le monde suspris, 

Dont pour le temps se fait minote et giu, 
Et ieo des autres suis soul^i horspris. 
Com al qui sanz amie est vrais amis,. 
Nest pas mervaile lors si ieo mesmai, 

Qencontre amour nest qui poet dire Nai* 
En lieu de rose, urtie cuillerai, 

Dont mes chapeals ferrai par tiel devis, 

Qe tout ioie et confoit ieo lerrai. 

Si celle soule eu qui iai mon coer mis, ^ 



ENGLISH POETRY. ^9 

Selonc le ponit qe iai sovent requis, 
Ne deigne aiegger les griefs mals qe iai, 

Qencontre amomr nest qui poet dire Nai^ 
Pour pite querre et poorchacer intris, 
Va ten balade ou ieo tenvoierai, 
Qore en certain ieo Id treslHen apris 

Qencontre amour nest qui pdet dire Nau 

BALiLDE XXXIV« 

Saint Valentin, F Amour, et la Nature, 
Des touts oiseals ad en gouemafnent^ 
Bont chascun deaux, semblable a sa mesure, 
Un compa^ne honeste a son tialent 
Eslist, tout dun accord et dun assent, 
Pour celle soule laist a covenir ; 
Toutes les autres car nature aprent 

V It coers est le corps faU cbeir. 
Ma doulce Dame, ensi ieo vous assure, 

Qe ieo Yous ai esli6u semblableihent, 
Sur toutes autres estes a dessure 
De mon amour si tresentieremeht, 
Qe riens y fait ponrqum icnousemetit, 
De coer et corps ieo yous Yoldrai serYify ' 
Car de rescm cest utie experiment, 

V li coers est le corps Jidt obeir. 
Pour remembrer iadis cdle aYenture 

De Alceone et ceix ensement, 
Com dieus muoit en oisel lour figure^ 
Ma Yolente serroit tout tielement 
Qe sans euYie et danger de la gent. 
Nous porroions ensemble pour loisir 
Voler tout francs en Yotre esbatement 
Vli coers est le corps fait obeir. 
Ma bel oisd, Yers qui mon pensement 
Sen vole ades sanz null contretenir 
Preu cest escript car ieo sai Yoir^nent 

V li coers est le corps fait obeir. 

z2 



diO TH£ HISTORY or 

Balade XLIII* 

Plus tricherous qe Jason a Medee, 
A Deianire ou q' Ercules estoit. 
Plus q' Eneas q' avoit Dido lassee, 
Plus qe Theseus q' Adriagne' amoit^ 
Ou Pemophon quant PhUlis oublioit, 
Te trieuSi helas, qamer iadis soloie^ 
Dont chanterai desore en mon endroif 

Cest ma dolour qejuist amicois majoie^ 
Unques Ector qama Pautasiiee', 

En tide haste a Troie ne sarmoit, 
Qe tu tout mid nes deniz le lit couche 
Amis as toutes quelques venir doit, 
Ne poet chaloir mais qune femme y soit. 
Si es comun plus qe la balte voie, 
Helas, qe la fortune me de^oit, 

Cest ma dolour qejidst amicois majoie^ 
De Lancelot^ si iuissetz remembre, ' 

Et de Tristans, com il se countenoit, 
Generides<=, Fflorent^, Par TonppeS 
Chascun des ceaux sa loialtie guaxdoit; 
Mais tu, helas, qest ieo qe te forsvoit 
De moi qa toi iamais mill iour &lsoie, 
Tu es a large et ieo sui en destroit, 

Cest ma dolour qejuist amicois majoie. 

"Ariadne. * Penthesilea. is also in our author's Coktessio Aman* 

^ 1^ Lancelot's intrigue with Ge« tis, Lib. iii. foL 48. a. coL 1. seq. lib. 

neura, king Arthur's queen, and sir viii. foL 175. a. col. 2. seq. And in the 

IVistram with Bel Isoulde, incidents in Gbsta Romanorum. (See supr. p.S34.} 

Arthur's romance, are made the subject Percy [Num. 2.] recites a romance call- 

of one of the stories cC the French poem ed Le bOvc Florence de Rome, which 

just cited, viz. begins, 

Commes sont la cronique et Kstoire As feira as men side 9r |pDn. 

De Lancelot et Tristrans ensement, &c I know not if this b« Shakespeare's 

« •n.isname.of whichlknownothing, Floremius, or Florentio, TAM.&w.i.5- 

must be colruptly written. Be she as foul as iWJ FMBSimtrs* love. 

* Chaucer's Wife op Bathes Tale * TliatisPartenope,orFardienopeus» 

is founded on the story of Florent, a one of Statius's heroes, on whom there ia 

knight of Rome, who delivers the king an old Fk-enc^ ronuuice. See stipr. ? oL i. 

of Scily's daughter from the enchant- p. 142, [where this statement is cor* 

^^nts of her stepmother; His story rected.] - 



1 
I 



ENGLISH POETRY* Sil 

i)es toutz le$ mals tu qes le plus malcrit, 
Ceste compleignte a ton ormlle envoie 
Sante me laist, et langour me recoiti 

Cest ma dolour qefuist amicois majoie. 

Balade XX* 

Si com la nief, quant le fort vent tempeste, 

Pur halte mier se tome aci et la. 

Ma dame, ensi mon coer manit en tempeste. 

Quant le danger de vo parole orra, 

Le nief qe votre bouche soufflera, 

Me fait sigler sur le peril de vie, 

Qest en danger JaU qtdl mera supplie. 
Rms Ulyxes, sicom nous dist la Oeste, 
Vers son paiis de Troie qui sigla, 
Not tiel paour du peril et mcdeste, 
Quant les Sereines en la mier passa, 
Et le danger de Circes eschapa, 
Qele paour nest plus de ma partie, 

Qesl en danger fait quil mera supplte. 
Danger qui tolt damour toute la feste, 
Unques un mot de confort ne sona, 
Ainz plus cruel qe nest la fiere beste 
Au point quant danger me respondera. 
La chiere porte et quant le nai dirra, 
Plusque la mort mestoie celle oie ^ 

Qest en danger Jidt quil mera supplte. 
Vers vous, ma bone dame, horspris cella, 
Qe danger manit en votre compainie^ 
Cest balade en mon message irra 

Qest en danger fait quil mera supplier 

For the use, and indeed the knowfedge^ of ibis manuscript, 
I 9X11 obliged to the unsolicited kindness of Lord Trentham; 
a favour which his lordship was pleased to confer with the most 
polite condescension. 



542 THE HISTORY OF 



SECTION XX. 



viNE of the reasons which r^odored the cla$$iG nvthors of 
the lower empire more popular than those pf a pur^ age, was 
because they were Christiaus. Among these, no Bomiin writer 
appears to have been more studied and esteemed, from the be- 
ginning to the close of the barbarous centuries, than Boethius. 
Yet it is certain, that his allegcnical perscmifications and his 
visionary philosophy, foimded on the abstractions of the Pla- 
tonic school, greatly concurred to make him a ^vourite K His 
Consolation of PHiLoaoPiiY was trandat^ into the Saxon 
tongue by king Al^ed, the &ther of learning ^d civility in the 
midst of a rude and intractable people; and illust|»^ with a 
commentary by Asser bishop of Saint David's, a pre^te pa- 
tronised by Alfred for his singular accomplif^ments in litera- 
ture, about the year 890. Biid^]|> Grosthead is Sfud to have 
left annotations on this adipired system of morality. There is 
a very ancient manuscript of it in the jLaurentian libri^iy, with 
an inscription prefixed in Saxon characters^* There are few 
of those distingui^ed ecplesi^ticsy whose erudition illuminated 
the thickest gloom of ignorai^ce and superstition with uncom- 
mon lustre, but who ^dier have dted this performance, or ho- 
noured it with a p^Ui^gyric ^. It has h^ many imitators. Ec- 

* It is obieiTable, that this Spirit of Abstinzhck, Patiskcx, CuAsrirr, Cov- 
Pkrsokificatioic tinctures tbe iirHtiiigs , coKp, /U^ ^Saint Cyprian relates, tiiat 
of some Cff the christian fathers, about, tbe diurch appeared in a vision, m t»- 
or rather oefore, : this period. Most of sfow per noctevif to Cplerinus ; and oom- 
the, agents in the Shkthxro of Hxai^As nianded bim to assume tbe office of 
MnidmU beingB. An aacient lady con- 'Reader^ which he in hwmiffity bad de- 
verses ¥ritb Hesmas, an4 teUs him that clined. Cyprian. Epist. zzxiz. edit* 
vfae is the CttunCH or God. Afterwards Oxon. The church appearing as awo- 
pef fii^ vii]gi|is appear and discourse with man they po'baps had from Uic Script 
him ; and when he desires to be informed ture, Rev. zii. I. Esdras, &c. ' 
who they are, he is told by tbe Shet- ^ Mabillon. Itin. ItaL p. 231. 
Hzan- Anoei., that they are Faith, ^ Ke is much commended as a catho- 



ENGLISH POETRY. ^43 

card) a learned French Benedictine^ wrote in imitation of this 
Consolation of Philosophy, a work in verse and prose 
containing five books, entided the Consolation of the 
Monks, about the year 1120^. John Oerson also^ a doctor 
and chancellor of the university of Paris, wrote the Consola- 
tion OF Theology in four bodes, about the year 1420^ It 
was the modd of Chaucer^s Testament of Love« It was 
translated intx> Froich^ and English before the year 1350^. 
Hante was an attentive reader of Boethius. In the Purgato-' 
bio, Dante 'gives Theology the name oi Beatrix his mistress, 
the daughter of Fulco Pordnari, who very gravely m(»ralises 
in that character. B&ng ambitious of following Virgil's steps 
in the descent of Eneas into hell, he introduces her, as a daugh- 
ter of the empyreal heavens, bringing Virgil to guide him 
through that daA and dangerous regbn^ Leland, who lived 
when true literature bt^an to be restored, sa3rs that the writings 
of Boetiiius still continued to retain that hi^ estimation, which 
they had acquired in the most early periods. I had almost 
forgot to observe, that the Consolation was trandated into 
(3reek by Maiumus Planudes, the most learned and ingenious 
of the Constantinopolitan monks K 

I can assign only one poet to the reign of king H^iry the 
Fourth, and this a translator of Efoethius^. He is called Jo- 

lie and philosopher by Hincmarusarch- Gallic, p. 216. 247. It was printed in 

bishop of Rhoms, about die year 880. Dutdi at Ghent, apud Arena de Key- 

De Prgdefttinat. contr. Godeschalch. ser, 1485. foL In Spanish at Vallador 

torn. L 211. ii. 62. edit. Sirmond. And lid, 1598, fol. See supr. p. 292. Po- 

by ZdkvL of Salisbury, for his eloquence lycarpus Leysems, in that vevy scarce 

and argupnent Poliorat yii, 15. And by book De Poes} Mbou ^y:^ [printed 

many other writers of the same dass. Ha.ub, 172I9 8vo.] eniunerates niany cu- 

' See Tritfaem. cap. 387. de S. £. And nous old editions of Boethius, p. 95. 105. 

lUustr. Bene^etiD. ii« 107, ^ See PfriiQAft. Cant zxx. 

* Opp. torn. i. p. ISO. edit. D!ui»n* I * Mont&uc BiU. Coislm, p.r 140. Of 

think tbere is a French Consolatio aHebrewTer8ion,seeWolf. BibLHebr. 

TuBOLOOUB by one Cerisier. torn. i. p. S29. 1092. 243. 354. 369, 

' See Haym,,p. 199. ^ I am aware that Ocdeve's poem» 

< Beride John of Bleun's French ver- called the Letter of Ciqnd, was written 

sion of Boethius, printed at lijons^ 1483, in this king'a reign in the year 1409.* 

witba translatioit of Virdl by GuiUaume ^ In the year of grate joyfiiU and jo^ 

le B^, there is one byve Cis, or Thri, conde, a thousand fower hundred and 

an old French poet. Matt. Anna!* Ty- sec*nde." Urry*s Chaucer, p. 587.T.475* 

pogr. i. p. 171, Francisc, a Cnice, BibL But there are reasons for making Oc^ 



344 THE HISTORY OF 

iMUin^ Capellanua, or John the Ckaplait^ and be translated 
iito En^ish verse the treatise De Consolations Philoso- 
PHiiE in the year 14*10, His name is John Walton*. He 
was cancin of Oseney, and died subdean of York. It a{^>ears 
probable, that he was patronised by Thomas Chamsdler^ among 
Other preferments, dean of the king's chapel and of Herefiird 
cathedral, chfincellor of Wells, and successively warden ci 
Wykeham's two colleges. at Windxester and Oxfiird; charac- 
tended by Antony Wood as an able critic in pdlite literatmne, 
tfod by L^and as a rare example df a doctor ja theology who 
graced schda&tic disputation with the j9owers of a pure lati* 
nity'. In the BWtish Museum there is a correct manuscript 
on parchment of Walton's translation of Boethius: and the 
margin is filled throi^hout with the Latin text, written by 
Chaundl^ above mentioned"^. There is another less elegmt 
manuscript in the same coUecticm. But at the end is thi& note; 
Elicit liber Bo€c\j de Cansolaiione Philosophie de Latino in 
AngHcum transkUus A.D. 1410. per CapeUanum Joannem\ 
Tim is the begmning of the prologue, ^^In sufiisaunce of ciiii» 
nyng and witte." And of the translation, ^^ Alas I wretch that 
whilom was in welth/' I have seen a third copy in the library 
cf Lincoln cadiedralS and a fourth in Baliol ooU^^e^ This 
ia the translation of Boethius printed in the monastery d* Ta-» 
vistoke, in the year 1525. *^The Boke of Comi^ort, called 
in X^^ Boecius de Consolatione Philosophie. Emprented in 
the exempt monastery of Tavestock In Denshyre, by me Dan 
Thomas Rychard monke of the sayd monastry. To the in* 
stant desyre of the right worshipfdl esquyre magister Robert 

cle^e, i» I have done, something later, tniieehe,*^ lllustratioitt of Gower and 

Nor is 6ower*s Baiade to Hewy the '^Chaucer, Introd. p. xxzLl 

Fourth a sufiBdent reason ft>r pladng I Wood, Hkt. Antiq. Univ. Oion.ii. 

hun jn that rewn. Ibid. p. 540^ The p. 134, LeUnd, Script. Brit Cmaomb* 

same piay be said of Chauoer. leeus. 

• [A manuscript of this work noticed "* MSa HarL 48. 1. And MS8.Colk 

by Mr. Todd has the foUowing colophon: Trin. Oxon. 75. 

« Explicit liber Boecii de consoladone '^ MSS. Harl, 44. chart, et pergam. 

philooophiede latino in AngHcum trans- ** MSS. i. 53. 

latusannodiiimillesimoccccx^.perCa- ■* MS8. B. 5. He bequcMbed bis J9li% 

peUanum Joluumem Tebaud alias W^? blia, and other books, to tfeas llbtary. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 545 

Langdcm. Amio Domim\ Hnxxv. Deo gradas.^* In octave 
riiyme^. This translatum was made at the request of Elisa- 
beth Berkdqr* I ferbear to load diese pages with speoimeBa. 
not original, and which appear to haire contributed no dcgrea: 
of improvement to our poetry or our phraaecdogy* Henry die 
Fourth died in the year 1399. 

The coronation of king Henry the Fifth was celebrated in 
Westminster-hdl widi a solannity propcnrtioned to the lustre 
of those great atchievements which afterwards distinguished 
the annals of that victorious monarch. By way of preserving 
order, and to add to the splendor of the spectacle, many of 
the nobility were ranged along the sides of the tables on large 
war-horses, at this stately festival; which, says my chronicle^ 
was a second feast of Ahasuerus^. But I mention this oe- 

■ 

remcmy, to introduce a circumstance very pertinent to our 
purpose; which is, that the number of harpers in the hall was 
innumerable^ who undoubtedly accompanied their instriun^^ 
with heroic rhymes. The king^ however, was no great encou* 
rager of the popular minstrelsy, which seems at this time to 
have flourished in the highest degree of perfection* When he 
entered the city of Londcm in triumph after the battle of Agin- 
oourt, the gates and streets were hung with tapestry^ repre- 
salting the histories of ancient heroes; and children were 
placed in artificial turrets, singing verses*. But Henry, dis-' 
gusted at these secular vanities, commanded by a formal edict, 
that for the future no songs should be recited by the bai^)ers, 
<xr others, in praise of tlie recent victory ^ This prohibition 
had no other efiect than that of displaying Henry's humility, 

* Thb k amonff Riiidiiiion*8 Codd. cap. zn. p. 3S. Con^Mre Lei. Coll. 

iraprcis. Bibl BodL There is an £n- AmMo. iii 326. edit. I77a 
l^iah translation of Boethins by one ' jSlmham, ubi supr. p. 23. 
Ueorge Cdnl, or Coldewell, bred at ' Elmham, ubi supr. cap. zzxi. p. 72. 

Oifora, wtfli the Latin, « according to ' * <* Camtus de suo triumpho fieri, sea 

the boke of tiie traiudatour, wlif ch was a per Cithamstas, vd alios quoscunqiie». 

Tery old printe," Dodioated to queen Camtaiu, penitus prohibebat." Ibid. 

M«7» and pnnted by John Cawood, p. 72. And Heamii PkwfiiL p.xxiz« sen, 

t556. 4to. Reiuinted 1566. 4to. § viii. See also HolHngsh. Cbron. liL 

*> Tbonne de Ehnham Vtt. et Gest p. 556* col. 1. 4a 
Henr. V. edit Hearne, Oxon. 1727« 



84^ THE HISTORY. OF 

peiiiaps its prindpal and real design* Among many .others^ a 
minstrel-piece soon appeared, evidently adapted to the harp, 
on the Seyge of Harflett and the Battallte of Agtn- 
xouRTS. It was written about the year 1417. These are 
some of the most spirited lines. 

Sent Jorge be fore our kyng they dyd se", 
They trompyd up full meryly, 
The grete battell to gederes zed^ ; 
Our archorys^ theiy schot ful hartely, 
They made the Frenche men faste to blede, 
Her arrowys they went with fall good spede. 
Oure enemyes with them they gan down throwe 
Thorow breste plats, habourgenys, and basnets'* 
Eleven thousand was slayne on a rew ^» 
Denters of dethe men myzt well deme, 
So fercelly in ffelde theye gan fythe *• 
The heve upon here helmyts schene* 
With axes and with swerdys bryzt 
When oure arowys were at a flyzt** . 
Amon the, Frenche men was a wel sory schere*. 
Ther was to bring of gold bokylyd** so bryzt 
lliat a man myzt holde a strong armoure. 
Owre gracyus kyng men myzt knowe 
That day fozt with hys owene bond, 
The erlys was dyscomwityd up on a rowe% 
' That he had slayne understond. 

He there schevyd^ oure other lordys of thys lond, 
Forsothe that was a ful iayre daye. 
Therefore all England mi^e this syng 
Laws^ deo we may well saye. 

* ** Tlie French saw Ae standard of * ** They struck upon their bri^l 

Saint Oeorge before our king." helmets." ^ flying* 

^ This is Milton's » Tog^er msh'd ° much distrass. * budOed. 

bodi battles main.** « I believe it is "The earls he had 

• ^ «Rfaers. slain were all thrown together on a heap 

' breast-plates, habargeons and hel- or in a row ;*' [discomfited?] 

mets. ^ row. * fight. ' shewed. * Urns, 



KNGLISH POETRY. 347 

The Duke of Glocetor^ that nys ho najy 
That daj full worddy '^ be wrozt, 
On every ^e he made goode waye. 
The Frenche men &6te to grond they browzt 
The erle of Hontynton sparyd nozt. 
The erle of Oxynforthe* layd on all soo*, 
The young erle of Devynsdiyre he ne rouzt^ 
The Frenche men fiist to grunde gan goa 
Oar Eogjismen thei were fibul sekes do 
And ferce to fyzt as any ly<me. 
Basnets bryzt they crasyd a to'. 
And bet tl^ French banerys adoune ; 
As thonder-strokys ther was a scownde*". 
Of axys and sperys ther they gan glyd. 
The lordys o£ Franyse^ lost her renowne 
With gresoly® wondys they gan abyde. 
The Frensche men, for all here pryde, 
They foil downe all at a fljTZt: 
jfe me rende they cryde, on every syde, 
Our Englys men they understod nozt arizt^^. 
Their pollaxis owt of her hondys they twizt. 
And layde ham alodg stryte^ upon the grasse. 
They sparyd nother deuke, erlle, ne knyght' 

These verses are much less Intelligible than some of Gower's 
and Chaucer's pieces, which were written fifty years before. 
In the mean lime we must not mistake provincial for national 
barbarisms. Every piece now written is by no means a proof 
of the actual state of style. The improved dialect, which yet 
is the estimate of a langua^ was confined only to a few wri- 

^ worthily. bam, ut supr. Append, p. 359. Num. Vi. 

* Oxford. ^ also. See p. 371. seq. There is 2%6 Battatix 
' ** They broke the bright helmets in of Eotkoou&tx, Libr. impress. Bibl. 

two.** "^ sound. Bodl. C. 39. 4to. Art. Selden. SeeOv- 

* France. ° griesly. ssavAT. on Spens; ii. 41. Doctor Percy 
'<' they did not rightly.*' has printed an ancient ballad on this 
^ strait. ' subject. Amc. Ball. toL ii, p. 24. edit. 
' Printed [from MSS. Cotton. ViTKLL. 1767. See Heame's Prjefat. utsupr. 

D. xu. 11. fol. 214.] by Hearne, £bn- p. xxx. 



348 THEUISTOftYOt 

ters, who lived more in the world and in poUte 1^ : and it was 
long, before a general change in the pnblic phraseology was 
effected. Nor must we expect among the minstrels, who were 
equally cdrdess and illiterate, those refinements ci diction, 
which mark the compositions of men who professedly studied 
to embellish the English idiom* 

Thomas Ocdeve is the first poet that occurs in the reign of 
HentT the Fifth. I place him about the year 1420. Occleve 
is a feeble' writer, considered as a poet: and his chief merit 
seems to be, that his writings contributed to propagate^md es- 
tablish those improvements in our language which were now 
beginning to take place. He was educated in the munidpal 
law', as were both Chaucer and Gpwer; and it reflects no 
small degree of honour on that very liberal profession, that its 
students were some of the first who attempted to polish and 
^om the English tongue. 

The titles of Occleve's pieces, very few of which have been 
ever printed, indicate a coldness of genius; and on the whole 
promise no gratification to those who seek for invention and 
fency. Sudh as, T^e tale qfnhnathas and of a wkk^ woman ^ 
FaUe of a certain emperess^. A jprologae of the nine lessons 
that is read over AUhalotghday"^^ The most prqfitdbie and hoi- 
somest craft that is to cunne^, to leme to dye'f. Consolation of 
feted by an old man *. Pentasticcon to the king. Mercy as 
defined by Saint Austin. Dialogue to a friend^. Dialogue be- 
tween Occleefand a beggar^. The letter ofCupid^. Verses to 

* He studied in CAeitresHiin where So. Reg. Brit. Mas. 17 D. vi. S. 4. Ttie 
merset-hoiue now stands. See Buck, best manuscript of Occleve. 

Jk tenia Jng&e Jiccademia, cap. xxv. * MSS. Digb. \85. More [Cant.] 427. 

' XJIn Infir. Bibl. Bodl. MSS. From * MSS. Seld. ut supr. 

the Gbsia Romamorum. ^ MSS. Harl. 4826. 6. 

""BibL Bodl. MSS. Seld. supr. 5S. ""' MSS. Digb. 181. MSS.Arch.BodL 

Diffb. 185. Laud. K. 78. MSS. Reg. Seld. B. 24. It is printed in Chaucer*8 

Bril Mus. 17 D. Yi. 2. lliis story Works, Urr. p. 534. Bale[M&Glynne] 

teems to be also taken from the Gisia mentions one or two more pieces, parti* 

RoMANORuic Fr. <*In the Roman cuUaly J)e Theteo jitkenienrit Ub. U Fr. 

ACTTs writyn." '' Turn esset, ut veteres historiie tr»- 

"" Ubt supr. Bibl. BodJ. MS& dunt.** Thb is the beginmng of Chau- 

* know. cer's Kmight*s Talk. And there art 
^ MSS. Bodl. ut supr, And MSS, other pieces in the libraries. 



ENGLISH PO£TRY. S49 

0n en^fijf purse^^ Bat Ocdeve^s most oonudemfale poem is a 
piece called a translation of Egidius De RkgiminE Princi^um* 
This is a sort of paraphrase of the first part of Aristotk's 
epistle to Alexander above mentioned, entitled SscretUbi Ss« 
caEToauM, of Egidius, and of Jacobus de Casulis, whom he 
calls Jacob de Cassolis. Egidius, a native of Rome, a piqnl of 
Thomias Aquinas, eminent amcmg the schoolmen by the name 
q( Dodor FundatissimuSy and an archbishop, flourished about 
the year 1S80. He wrote a Latin tract in three books, De 
Regimine Principum, or the Art of Government, for the 
use ^ Philip le Hardi, son of Liouis king of France, a work 
highly esteemed in the middle ages, and translated early into 
Hebrew, French % and Italian. In those days ecdesiastics 
and schoolmen presumed to dictate to kings, and to give rules 
&r administering states, drawn from the narrow circle of qte- 
ctthOJAH), and conceived amid the pedantries of a cloister* It 
ifjas probably reoomm^ided to Occleve's notice, by having. be«i 
translated into English by John Trevisa, a celebrated tranda^ 
tor about the year 1390^ The cxiginal was printed at Rome 
in 1432, and at Venice 1498, and, I think, again at the same 
(dace in 1 598 \ The Italian * translati<m was printed at Seville, 
in fidio^ 1494, ^^Translado de Latin en Romance Don Ber- 
nardo Obis|>o de Osma : imju'esso por Meynardo.Ungut Ale- 
mano «t Stanislao Pdono companeros.'* The printed copies 
of the Lalm are very rare, but the manuscripts innumaraUe. 
A third part of the third book, which treats De Be MUUari 
Veterum^ was printed by Hahniiis in 1722^. Chie of Egidius's 

' This, and the Pentattichon ad Regem, dp, " To his special, [etc. ] polittk sen- 

are in MS8. Fairf. iW. Bibl. Bodl. And tence that is.** In this manuscript there 

in the editions of Chaucer. But the is an elegant picture of a monk, or ec- 

former appears to be Chaucer's, from desiastic, presenting a book to a king. 

the twenty ad^Ktional stantas not printed See supr* riol. i. p. 178. Note '. 

in Vny't Chancer, page 549. MSS. ^ All in folio. Those of 148S, and 

HarL SfiSI. ISS. fol. 2d8. 1598, are in the Bodleian h*branr. In 

* Wolf. BftiUoth. Hd[>r. torn. ixi. AH-8ouls college library at Oxibrd, there 

p< I90& It was tnmslatfd into French is a manuscript Tabula ik JEqidium dc 

by Hemr de Gand, at die command of Regimine Paivciroic, by one Thomas 

Fhilip kmg of France. Mem. de Lit. Abyndon. MS& G. i. 5. 

tom. xrii. p. 733. 4to. • [Spanish?— Edit.] 

f Bibl. Bodl. MSS. Digb. 233. Prtn- ^ In the first tome of CoUectio Mmn- 



SaO THE HIStOKT op 

bodca, a commentary on Aristotle bb Anima,. is dedicated to* 

our Edvaid the First^. 

Jacobus de Casulis, or of Casali in Italy^ another of the 
writers copied in this performance by oar poet Ocdeve, a 
French Dominican friar, about the yew 1290, wrote in finir 
part§ a Latin treatise tm chess, or, as it is enUtled in scane ma-* 
niucripts, De wunibus kominum «t de (0ciis w>bUam si^er Ludo 
Latbvnculobdh sive Scaccobuh. In a parchment manu-- 
script of the Hsrleian library, neatly illuminated, it is thus ai- 
tided, Liber Mobalis de Ludo Scagcoruh, ad honorem efi 
lolacium NttbUiioH etmaxime Ivdencium, per fratrem JaccmdH' 
db Cabsuus ordims Fratram Pradicatontm. At the caacla- 
don, this work ^ipesrs to be. a translation'. Pits carelessly- 
gives it to Robert Holcot, a celebrated English theologist, per-' 
hspa fat no other reason than because Holcot was likewise a' 
Dotninicen. It was printed at Milan in 1479. I bdieve it' 
was as great a &TOurite as Egidius on Govebnhsnt, for it 
was translated into Froich by John Ferron, and J<^ Du Vi-' 
gnay, a mcmk hospitaler of Saint James du Hant-pag", under 
the patronaf^ of Jeatme dutdiess of Bourgogn^ Caxton's 
patronees, about the year IS60, with the title of Le Jbu des 
£cHEC8 moralUe, or Le traite da Nobles et de Gens du People-- 
telon le Jeu des Echecs. This was afterwards translated by 
Ca^rton, m 1474i, who did not know that the French was a^ 
translation from the Latin, and called the Game of the Cbbss.' 
It was also translated into Grerman, both prose and verse, by 
Conrade von Ahnenhusen ". Bale absurdly supposes that Oc- 
cleve made a separate and regular translation of* this work°. 

SnccLm HitioniALi of Vincent o€ 
BwuTiua. Vie de Fmt. torn. iiLp. 548. And 
Mem.LiL ivU. T42. 746. 74T. edic 410. 

° See Jacob. Quedf. torn. L p. 471. iii 
p. 81B. Lambecc lorn. iL Bibl. Via. 
dob. p. 848. One SmeoD Ailwud, aa 
EngliFJiiaao, about the jaar 1456,wTiila 
aLMiiipoem£ieXiufa8nwe«it>». Fib. ' 
AmiiD. p. 909. Piinxip. " XauIiu icm* 
conun datur Inc correctia aonuib" 

* Bale in Occutc 



ENGLISH POETRF. S51 

Occleve's po^n was never printed. This is a part of the 
Prologue.* 

Aristotle, most famous philosofre^^. 

His epistles to Alisaunder sent**; 

Whos sentence is wel bet than golde in cofre, 

And more holsum, grounded in trewe entent 

Fore all that ever [tho Epistles*] ment, 

To sette [was*] this worthi conqueroure. 

In rewle howe to susteyne his honoure, 

The tender love, foid the fervent [chiertie^, 
That [this*] worthi clerke aye to this king beife, 
[Trustyng*] sore his welth durable to be, 
Unto his hert [stak^ and sate so nere, 
That bi writing his counsel gaf he clere 
Unto his lord to [kepe'] him from mischaunce, 
As witnesseth his Boke of Govemaunce', 

* [The present text has rec^Ted some meats, which he eIl^tled as abore. Air 

emendations from the Harleian and Account or trv Esolisr Dramatics 

King's MSS. The new readings are Posts, &c. Oion. 1691. dvo. lUs 

printed within brackets, and th^ re- hook, a good ground-work for a new 

jected are given below.— >£dit.1 publication on £e same sulgect and plan, 

' The learned doctor Gerard Lang- and which has merit as being the first 

baine, speaking of the Regihinb Prxk- attempt of the kind, was reprinted by 

cipim by Ocdeve, says that it is ** collect- Curlt with flimsy additions, under the 

ed out of Aristode, Alexander, and JEgi- conduct at Giles Jacob, a hero of the 

dius on the same^ and Jacobus de Cas- Duneiad, liond. 171dk Svo. Our au- 

solis (a, fryar preacher) his book of chess, thor,. after a classical education, was first 

▼ii. tnat part where he speaks of the placed with a bookseller in London; but 

king's drauffht,'* &c» BibL Bodl. MSS. at sixteen years of age^ in 16T2, he be- 

Langb. Cod. xv. page 102. came a gentleman commoner of Univer- 

[&e author of Ihe Accovkt of the si<^ colfege in Oxford His literature 

Enolisb Daamatic PbETs, was Gerard chiefly consisted in a knowledge of tiie 

the son of doctor Langbaine, provost of novels and plays of various langumea ; 

Qiueen's college, Oxmrd. This book and he was a constant and eritiodat- 

was first published under the title of tendant of the play-houses for many 

M0MV8 TRivMrRANs, Loud. 1687. 4to. years. Retiring to Oxford in the year 

Five hundred copies were quickly sold ; 1690, he died the next year ; having* 

but the remainder of ^ impression ap- amassed a collection of more than a 

peered the next year with a newtitle» thousand printed plays, maaquet» and in« 

Anew Catalogue cf English Plat/s, con^ terludes."A*Di>iTiOKS.] 
taming comeSesr &c. Lond.. 1688. 4to. '^ See supr., p. 813, et infra. 
The author at length digested his work ^ Aristotle's Sxcbstvm SicABfoRv^ 
anew with gteat accessions and improve- 



i 



* the Epistle. 'us. 'goodchere. > ^ihe.' 

' thrusting. • slab. ^ hope. 



S£2 THE UISTOSY OJP 

CMf which) and of Giles [of*] Reoiment* 
Of prince's plotmele^ think I to transiete, &e« 
My dere mayster, god his soul quite S 
And fader Chaucer fayne would have me taught^ 
But I was dule", and learned lyte or naught. 

Alas my worthie midster honorable^ 
This Icmdis veftay tresour and richesse, 
Deth by thy deth hathe harme irreparable 
Unto us done: [hir*] vengeable duresse* 
Dispoiled hath this lond of the sweetnesse 
Of rhetoryke, for unto TuUius 
Was never man so like amongest us. 

[Also '®] who was [heir "] in phylosophy 

To Aristotle in owre tonge but thow ? 

The steppis of *Virgile in poesie 

Thou suedest^ eke : men knowi^ well inowe 

That combre-world* that [the'*] my mayster, slowe**: 

Wold I slaine were ! Detli was too hasUfe 

To renne on thee, and reve thee of thy life : 

She might have tarried her vengeaunce awhile 
To that some man had egal to thee be : 
Nay, let that be : she knew well that this isle 
May never man forth bryng like unto thee, 
And her offis nedis do mote she ; 
God bade her so, I trust for all the best, 

O mayster, mayster, god thy soule rest ! 

• 

* JEgidius de Regxmiitx Principum. lUti. But evcfn the faulty readinir o( 
^tqukt; 9Kfe. "dull. the Oxford MS. 

' cruelty. ^ followedst njr t. 

• He cans death the encumbrance of ^^ , ^SL TI T" l"°Tu .. 
tiie world. The expression seems to be Thateombre-world that thou [death] my 
tdcen from Chaucef, where Tioilus says mayster atowe, 

of himsalf, ** I combre-^worid, that maie could not justify such an interpretation. 

of nothing serve." Tr. Ciress. p. 307. Conihre-world in either Tersion must be 

T. S79. Urr. edit. [*• Ridiculoi^ ! '* ex- taken substantively, and as such can only 

claims Mr. Ritson. It is the Mvk who be applied to death.— Eon.] 

encumber the world : fruges consumer^ ' ^'slew. 

•M». •bis. -Alas! "here. ■thou. 



ENGLISH POETEY. 355 

In another part of the Prologue we have these pathetic Imes^ 
which seem to flow warm from the heart, to the memory of the 
immortal Chaucer, who I believe was rather Occleve's model 
than his master, or perhaps the patron and encourager of his 
studies. 

But weleawaye, so is myne herte wo 

That the honour of English tonge is dede, 

Of which I wont was han counsel and rede ! 

O mayster dere, and fadir reverent, 

My mayster Chaucer, floure of eloquence, 

Mirrour of fructuous entendement, 

O universal &dir in science, 

Alas that thou thine excellent prudence 

In thy bed mortel mighest not bequethe, 

What eyled*^ Deth ? Alas why would he sle' the f 

O Deth that didist nought harm singulere 

In slaughtre of him, but all the lond it smertith : 

Birt nathelesse yit hastowe** no powere 

His name to sle. His hie vertue astertith 

Unslayn from thee, which aye us lifely hertidi 

With boke[s] of his omat^ enditing. 

That is to all this lond enlumyning. ^ 

Occleve seems to have written some of these verses imme- 
diately on Chaucer's death, and to have introduced them long 
afterwards into this Prologue. 

It is in one of the royal manuscripts of this poem in the Bri- 
tish Museum that Occleve has left a drawing of Chaucer *^: ac- 

^ ailed. ^ bast thou. sage forms a part of the ** Dialogiis inter 
• MSS. Rawlins. 647. fol. This poem Occlyf et roendicum/* andwhidi in the 
has at the end ** Explicit ^gidius de Museum MSS. precedes tlie translation 
Regimine Principum*' in MSS. Laud, of ^gidius.— Mr. Ritson in his BibL 
K. 78. Bibl. BodL See also ibid. MSS. Poet, enumerates seventeen pieces of 
Selden. Supr. 53. Digb. 185. MSS. Occleve contained in a MS. once bo» 
Ashmol. 4a MSS. Reg. 17 D. vi. 1. longing to Dr. Askew» but which after- 
17 D. xviii. MSS. Han. 4826. 7. and wards became the property of Mr. Ma^ 
4866. In some of these a sort of dia- son. From this MS. he adds : ** Six of 
logue is prefixed between a father and a peculiar stupidity were selected and pub- 
son. Occleve, in the Prologue cited in lished by its late owner, in 1796. 4tO.'* 
the text, mentions Jacobus de CassoUs — -Enrr.j 
[Casulisjasoneofhis authors. [This pas- ' MSS. Reg. 17 D. vi. ]. 

VOL. II. 2 A 






35* THE HISTOEY OF 

ccN-ding to whidi, Chaucer's portraiture was made on hia Iqo- 
nument, in the obapd of Saint Blase in Westimnster^abbqr^ 
by the benefaction of Nicholas Brigham, in the year 1566'* 
And from this drawings in 1598, John Speed procured the 
print of Chaucer prefixed to Speght's edition of his Works; 
which has been since copied in a Inost fintabed wigraving by 
Vertue ^. Yet it must be remembared, that the same drawing 
occurs in a^ Ebtrleian manuscript written about Ooeleve's ageS 
and in another of the Cottonian dqMurtmait^. Ocdeve him- 
self mentions this drawing in his Consolatio SerVIlis. It 
exactly resembles the curious pcture oa board of our venerable 
bard, preserved in the Bodleian gdl^ at Oxford* I have a 
.very old picture of Chaucer on board, much like Occleve's, 
formerly kept in Chaucer's house, a quadrangular stcene-manr 
sion, at W<k>dslock in Oxforddbire; which commanded a pro- 
spect of the anci^it magnificent royal palace, and of many beau- 
tifiil scenes in the a^jac^it park: and whose last r^nains, chiefly 
consisting of what was called Chaucer^s bed-chamber, with an 
old carved oaken roo^ evidendy original, were demolished 
about fifteen years ago. Amcmg the ruins they found an an- 
cient gold coin of the city of Florence ^ Before the grand re- 
bellion, there was in the windows of the church of Woodstock, 
an escucheon in painted glass of the arms of Sir Payne Rouet, 
a knight of Henault, whose daughter Chaucer married. 

Ocdeve, in this poem, and in others, often celebrates Hum- 
jphrey duke of Glocester"^ ; who at the dawn of science was a 
singular promoter of literature, and, however unqualified for 
political intrigues, the common patron of the scholars of the 
times. A sketch of his character in that view, is therefore too 



* He was of Citvershain in Oxford- mon in England. ChaucoTy Fabdov. 

ihire. Educated at Hart-Hall in Ox- Talk, v. 2290. py. 135. coL 2. « For that 

ford, and studied the law. He died at the Fi^oaAiNs ben so faire and bright" 

WestnuBtter» 1559. Edward the Third, in 1344, idtered it 

^ In Urry's edit. 1721. foL from a lower value to 6s. and 8<L The 

^ MSB. Harl. 4866. The drawing is particular piece I have mentioned seems 

at foL 91. about that value. 

^ MSS. Cotton. 0th. A. 18. "" As he does John of Gaunt. 

1 I think a Fu>axiy, antiently com- 



ENaj.I9H POETRY. 355 

cbsety c6iitiected witli oui" subject to be centuped as an unne- 
cessary digression. About the year 144O9 he gave to the wih- 
versity of Oxford a library oomtaining six hundred volumes^ 
only one hundred and twenty of which were yalued at more 
than one thousand pounds. These books are called Notd 
Traetatui^ or New Treatises, in the umversitywregister^ and 
said to be admirandi apparaim^. They were the most q^doH 
did and costly copies that could be procuredf imely writlKii 
on veUam, and el^^antly embdlished with miniatures and 
illunlinatioDs. Among the rest was a translation into French 
«f Ovid's MetamcHTjdiosesP. Only a six^^ specimen of these 
valuable volumes was sufiered to remain : it is a beautiful mar 
iiu9er%)t m &Uo %3& Valenuffi Maximus, enriched with the most 
d^aQt decorations, and written is Duke Humphrey's a^ 
evidendy with a design of being placed in this sumptuous col* 
lecticm. All the rest of the books, which, like this, being higUy 
cMiiamented, looked like missals, and conveyed ideas of popish 
siqierstition, were decoyed or removed by the pious visitors 
of the university in the rei^ of Edward the Sixtli, whose zeal 
was equalled only by their ignorance, or peilieps by their ava- 
iice. A great number of classics, in this grand work of refor*^ 
mation, were condemned as antichristian^. In the library of 
Oriel college at Osdbrd, vre find a manuscr^ CommefUaty on 
Genesis^ written by John Capgrave, a monk of smnt Aiujtin's 
mcmastery at Canterbury, a learned theologist of the fourte^itiif 
century. It is the author's autograph, and the work is dedi^r 
edited to Humphrey duke of Glocester. In the superb initial 
letter of the dedicatory qusde is a curious illumination of Xk^ 
author Capgrave, hun^Iy presenting his book to his patron the 
duke, who is seated, and covered vrith a sort of hat At the end 
is this entry, in the hand-vnriting of duke Humphrey. ^'Cest 
livre est a moy Humfrey due de Gloucestre du don dejrere Jehan 
Cofffsavfi^ qmf.le me Jist presenter a mon manoyr de Pensherst le 

" Rec. F.foL 52. 5S.1>. EpiM. 14S. ** Some how^^iad been bcfione «td« 

° Ibtd.fol.57.b.6aa.£pi8t. 148. lenorsniitikted. Le]aiid,CoU.iii.p.5S. 
^ Lelaod, Cell. iii. p. 58. edit. 1770. tdit I77a 

2 A 2 



^56 TUSHISTORYOF 

j(mr*..de Fan, mcccxxxviiiV This is one of the book? 
which Humphrey gave to his new library at Oxford, destroyed 
or dispersed by the active reformers of the young Edward*. 
John Whethamstede, a learned abbot of Saint Alban's, and a 
lover of scholars, but accused by his monks for neglecting their 
afiairs, while he was too deeply engaged in studious employ- 
ments and in procuring transcripts of useful books % notwith- 
standing his unwearied assiduity in beautifying and enriching 
their monastery", was in high fiivour with this munificent 
prince^. The duke was fond of visiting this monastery, and 
employed abbot Whediamstede to collect valuable books for 
him y. Some of Whethamstede*s tracts, manuscript copies ei 
which often occur in our libraries, are dedicated to the duke': 
who presented many of diem, particularly a fine copy of Whet« 

' CocL MSS. 32. if it was some magnificent publieedifice. 

* He gave also Capgrave supbe £xo> « God grant,** says he, ^ that this work 
BUM £T Reoum ubros. RegistT. Univ. in our days may receive a happy coiH 
Oxon. F. fol. 67. b. summation ! '* n>id. p. cxvi. 
. ^ Supm, vol. i. See Dissbrtat. i» " Among other tbingf, he expended 
We are told in this abbot's Gesta, that forty pounds in adorning the rqof and 
noon after his installment he built a walls of the virgin Maiy*s diapel with 
library for hia abbey, a design which pictures. Gkst. ut supr. p. cx« He gKie 
had long employed his contemplation, to the choir of the church an organ; 
He covered it with lead ; and expend- than which, says my chronicler, ^ere 
^ on the bare walls, besides desks, was not one to be found in any monas- 
glasing, and embattelling, or, to use tery in England, more beautiml in ap- 
tbe ^pressions of my chronologer, de- pearance, more pleasing for its harmony, 
ducta vUriacione, crestadone, posUUme or moie curious in its construction. It 
descvmmf upwards of one hunoTed and cost upwards of fifty pouncb. Ibid, 
twenty pounds. Apud Heame*s Or- p. cxxviii. His new buildings were in« 
TERBOVRNE, voL i. Proefat. Append, numerable: and the Master op the 
p. cxxiii. ed. Oxon. 1732. [Heame Works was -of his institution, with An 
in the place quoted has : << ultra sum- ample salary. Ibid. p. cxiii. 
ma centu q^. q'ginta librar.** Hitson.] ' Leland, Script. Brit. p. 4S7. 
He founded also a Ittirary for all the stu- . ^ Inland, ibid. 442. 433. Sec also 
dents of his monastery at Oxford, ibid. HoUinsh. Cbron. f. 488. b. And f. 1234. 
p. cxiii. And to each of these students 1235. 1080. 868. 662. Weever Fdk. 
he allowed an annual pension, at his Mok. p. 562. 574. Whethamstede erect- 
own expence, of thirteen shillings and cd in his life-time the beautiful taber- 
fbur-pehcoh Ibid. p. cxviii. See also nacle or shrine of stone, now remaining, 
p. cxxix. A grand transcript of the over the tomb of duke Humphrey in 
FOstilla of Nicholas de Lyra on the saint Alban*s abbey church. Heame's 
bible was begun during his idjbacy, and Ottxrb. ut supr. p. cxxL seq. See also 
at his command, with me most splendid ibid. p. cxix. cxvi. 
ornaments and hand-writing. The monk * See Whethamstede, De viris illushi' 
who records this important' anecdote, bus, Brit. Mus. MSS. Cotton^ Tinsa. 
lived soon after bkn, and speaks of this D.vi. i. Orii. B. iv. And Heame^ 
great undcrtaf^ing, then unfinished, as Prefl Pet. Langtoft. p. xix. teq. 



ENGLISH I*OFTRY. 857 

hamstede's Granarium ^, an immensework, which Leiand calls 
ir^ens volwnen^ to the new Hbrary^. The copy of Valerius 
Maximus, which I nienti(»ied before, has a curious table or in- 
dex made by Whethamstede^. Many other abbots paid their 
court to the duke by sendhig him presents of books, whose 
siargins were adorned with the most exquisite paintings^. Gil- 
bert Kymer, physician to king Henry die Sixth, among otha* 
^ecclesiastic promotions, dean of Salisbury, and chancellor of the 
university of Oxford', inscribed to duke Humphrey his famous 
medical system Diaetarium de sanitatis cusfodia, in the year 
1424>^« I do not mean to antidpate when I remark, that Lyd- 
gate, a poet mentioned hereafter, translated Boccacio's book De 
Casibus virorum iLLUSTRiUM at the recommendation and 
command, and under the protection and superintendence, of 
duke Humphrey: whose condescension in conversing witb 
learned ecclesiastics, and diligence in study, the translator dis- 
plays at large, and in the strongest expressions of panegyric* 
He compares the duke to Julius Cesar, who amidst the weighf> 
tiest cares of state, was not ashamed to enter the rhetorical 
school of Cicero at Rome^. Nor was his patronage confined 
only to English scholars. His favour was solicited by themo^ 
celebrated writers of France and Italy, many of whom he boun- 

* Registr. Univ. Oxon. F. f. 68. He studieth ever to have intelligence, 

* Lebnd, ubi modo in^r. Rieadyng of bokes.** 

* MSS. Bodl. N£. vii. ii. And with support of his magnificence, 
' " Multos codices, ptUcherrime pictoi. Under the wings of his protection.-*^ 

ab abbatibus dono accepit" The Duke I shall proceedin this translation «^ 

wrote in the frontispieces of his books, Lowly submittyng, every houre an4 
MouN BiBN MONpAiM. LeUmd, Coll. space, 

liL p. 58. edit, ut supr. My rude langage to my lordes grace. 

* By the recommendatory letters o{ 

duke Humphrey. Registr. Univ. Oxon. See also fol. xxxviii. b. col. 2. Lydgate 

F. foL 75. Epist 180. *>** ^ epitaph on the duke, MSa Ash- 

t See Heatae*s Append, ad Ubr. ^o^ 59. 2. MSS. HarL2951. 6.fol.7, 

Nigr. Scaccar. p.55a And Pi'fBfatp.34. There w * curious letter of Lydgate, in 

« PkoL. Sign. A. ii. A.iiL edit Way- ^^ich he sends for a supply of money 

knd, ut supr. He adds, ^ **»e duke, while he was translating 

BocHAs. *<Litterra dom. Joh. Lyd» 

And hath joye with clarkes'tocsommune, gate missa ad ducem Glocestrie in Um^ 

And no man is more expert in langage pore trmndatwms Bochasky pto oporfimi. 

StoUe in study.— late^ecume.*' MSS.ibid. 5. fol. 6. See 

His courage never dothe appall also ibid. ISl. foL 279. b. of the duke'a 

To study in bokes <^ antiquit>c.-<» maoriage. 



S58 TH£ HISTORY Of 

tifiillj rewarded ^ Leonard Aretine, one of the first i^estoreiv 
of the Greek tongue in Italy, which be learned of Emanuel 
-€3irjsolorB% and of polite literature in general, dedicates to 
diis universal patron his elegant Latin translation of Arislotie^a 
Politics* Tlie copy presented to the duke by the tnmdstor, 
most elegantly illuminated, is now in the Bodletan lS>rary at 
OxferdL To the same noble encourager of leonmi^ Petrus 
-Candidus, the friend of Laurentius Valla, and secr^ary to the 
great Cosmo duke of Milan, inscribed by the advice of the 
archbishop of Milan, a Latm version of Plato's Rcfvkuc^ 
An ilhuninated manuscript of this translation is in the British 
Jkfuseum, peiiiaps the copy presented, with two ^)isdes pre- 
fixed, irom the ddce to P^rus Candidus^ Petrus de Monte, 
'another learned Italimi, of Venice, in the defiealaon ef his treet- 
4ise De ViRTUTuif £T VinoRuu Differentia to the didce of 
-Glocester, mentions the laitter^s ardent attachment to books of 
an kinds, and die singular aviditjr with which he pursued every 
species of literature "^^ A tract, entitled Comparatio Smnio- 
nwa et Rei MiXiTAftis, written by Lapus de CastelMone, a 
Tioeentiiie civilian, and a great translator into Latin -of the 
"Qreek classics, is also inscribed to the duke, at the desire of 
-Zeno arthbifiliop of Bayenx. I must not forget, that oinr il- 
lustrious duke invited into England the learned Italian, Tito 
Livio of Foro-Juli, whom he naturalised, ' and constituted his 
poet and orator ". Humphrey also retained learned foreigners 
in his service, for the purpose of transcribing, and of transla- 
t'mg from Greek into Latin. One of these was Antonio de 

^ Leland, Script, p. 442. dura. Most elegantly written. Mcm^ 

. 1 See MSSw Bodi D. I S. 10. And bran, ad fin. « Cest lirre est a moy 

Xelafid, Script, p. 443. HomfW^r Due de Glocestre dn don 

, ^ JLdand, Script, p. 44S. And Mai. P. Candidiie secretaiie du due de M)^ 

AfllMBol. 789. f. 54. 56. Whera are also Ian.** CataL MSS. AngL ton. ii. p. 212. 

-iwo of the duWs cputles «o Petntt Num. 6858. [See M^S. Hari 1705. 

jCandidns. foU 

. 1 P. Candidi Decembris, Dud Me- "^MSS. Nowic. Moax. 257. Bibl. 

diolam a aecretis, Thmslatk) Polkub ipobL C^ntabfw. 

J1atom8r*«d Humftedum Okraoestrit * Author (^the Pka Uemid ^^mth 

XMeam* &e« Gui.pmigiintur diue Ejn. printed hy Hearne^ Oxon. 1 7 IS. And 

stolae Ducis Glocestriae ad P. Candl- of other pieoeB. See HoUinsh. Ui. 585. 



ENGLISH POETftY. 9J^ 

Beoearia, m Vefeiine» a tiwislotor into L^ 
poon of IDiaoywoB Afer De Siiv Omib^ i whoon th^ xkdce 
raiplojred to tcan^te into Latm ax tracts of AtbwaNut^ 
Tbb translation, inscribed to the diike» is now ajnong tiiBTojdi 
manuscripts in die Briti^ Museum, andattfaeen4, inhisjQiwnt 
kaad-writiBg, is the fi>lkvwing insertion : ^* Cest livi^e est a mpi 
Homphrey Doc le JCHouoestre : lequd je fistraostaterdeOmc 
«a Latin par im de mes secretaires Antoyne de Beccara» ne de 
VenoneP/' 

An astronomical itract, entitled by Leland T^vus^ IH^kc- 
TioNiTM, is fidflpdy siq^osed to h^se beea written bjr (jMce- 
Humphrey «« But it was compiled at the duke's is^tan^ and 
accarding to tables which hiniself had conslnict^ called l^ 
the anonymous anchor in his preface^ Tabtdas iUustrmivti prin* 
dpU et nohilimmi domiui vm Hunf/redij &c.' In tiie libmy 
of Oresham odlege, however, there is a sdhane of calculations 
in astronomy, which bear his name'*. Astronomy was then a 
finrourke scusnce: nor is it to Joe ^ioubted, tl^ he was inti- 
mately ai^puunted wilh ^ politer brandves of Imowledge, 
which nonr bi^an iso afiqpifie e^amotioiiy »nd ^^mxh his lihocal 
and judicious attention greatly contributed to restore. 

I close this section with an apology for Chaucer, Gower, and 
Occleve; who are supposed, by the severer etymologists, to 
have corrupted the purity of the English language, by affecting 
to introduce so many foreign words and phrases. But if we 
attend only to the politics of the times, we shall find these 
poets, as also some of their successors, much less blameable in 
this respect, than the critics imagine. Our wars with France, 
which began in the reign of Edward the Third, were of long 
continuance. The principal nobility of England, at this period, 

** Printed at Venice 1477. Ibid. 1498. HomfVey due de Gloucestre du don des 

Paris. 1501. Basfl. 1534. 4to. executeunle Srde Faunhore." 16 G.vi. 

' MSS. Reg. 5 F. 4to. iL In the '^ See Hol]insh.Chron. sub.ann. 1461. 

same library is a fine folio manuscript of f. 662. col. 2. 

** Chronique des Rg^ de France jusques ' MSS. More, 82a 

a la mort de S. Lots, Tan. 1270." At ' MSS. Gresh. 66. See MSS. Ash- 

th« end is written with the duke of Glou- moL 856. 
tester's hand, " Cest livre est a moy 



S60 THE HISTORY OF 

resided in France, with their families, for many years. Johrt 
king of Prance kept his court in flngland : to which, exclusive 
of diese French lords who were his fellow-priscmers, or neces- 
sary attendants, the chief nobles of his kingdom must have oc- 
casionally resorted. Edward the black prince made an expe- 
dition into Spain. John of Gaunt duke c£ Lancaster, and his 
brother the duke of York, vtrere matched with the dau^ters of 
Don Pedro king of Castile. All these circumstances must have 
concurred to produce a perceptible change in the language of 
the court It is rational therefore, and it is equitable to sup- 
pose, that instead of coining new words, they <mly com{died 
with the common and fashionable modes of speedi* Would 
Chaucer's poems have be^i the delight of those courts in which 
he lived, had they been filled with unintdUigible pedantries ? 
The cotemporaries of these poets never complained of their 
obscurity. But vi^iether defensible on these principles or not, 
they much improved the vernacular style by the use of thb 
exotic phrasediogy. It was thus that our primitive diction was 
enlarged and enriched. The Ikiglish language owes its co» 
piousness, elegance, and harmcmy, to these innovations. 



ENGLISH POETRY. S^l 



SECTION XXL 



1 CONSIDER Chaucer as a genial day in an Englbh spring. 
A brilliant sun enlivens the face of nature with an unusual 
lustre: die sudden appemrance of cloudless skies, and the un- 
cacpected warmth c£ a tepid atmosph^e, aft^ the gloom and 
the inclemencies of a tedious winter, fill our hearts with the 
Tisionary proq)ect of a q)eedy summer : and we fondly anti"" 
cipate a long continuance of gentle gales and vernal serenity; 
But winter returns with redoubled horrors : the douds con-^ 
dense more formidably than before; and those tender bud% 
and early blossoms^ which were called forth by the transient 
gleam of a temporary sun-shine, are nipped by frosts, and toim 
by tempests* 

Most of the poets that immediately succeeded Chaucer, seem 
rather relapsing into barbarism, than availing themselves of 
those striking ornaments which his judgment and imagination 
had disclosed. They appear to have been insensible to his 
vigour of versification, and his flights of fancy. It was not in- 
deed likely that a poet should soon arise equal to Chaucer: and 
it must be remembered, that the nationd distractions which 
ensued, had no small share in obstructing the exercise of those 
studies which delight in peace and repose* His successors, 
however, approach him in no degree of proportion* Among 
these, John Lydgate is the poet who follows him at the shortest 
interval. 

I have placed Lydgate in the reign of Henry the Sixth, and 
he seems to have arrived at his highest point of eminence 
about the year 14<30^ Many of his poems, however, appeared 

^ In a copy of Lydgate's Chronicle of ward the Fourdi. MSS. Harl. 2251. 9* 
£n^sk Xings, there h a stama of £a- i& his poeiii^6 trnmidf noHri$, te ]Sd» 



3§S THE UISTOEY OF 

before. He was a monk of the B^iedictine abbey of Bury in 
Suffiilk, and an uncommon ornament of his profession. Yet 
his genius was so lively, and his accomplishments so numerous, 
diat I suspect the holy father saint Benedict would hardly have 
acknowledged him for a genuine diisciple. After a short edu- 
cation at Oxford, he travelled into France and Italy"; and 
returned a complete master of the language and the literature 
of both coiBiJiries. He chiefly studied the ItaUaa and French 
po^ particularly Dante, Boccacto, and Alain Cbartier ; and 
bfioame so distinguished it proficient in polite Jeaming^ that he 
gpencd a scImoI in his monastery, for teaching the sons <^ the 
nobility tfa^ arts of versifications 'Bind the elegaades q£ compo- 
sitiosi. Yetalthou^ philology was his object he wasnotunfe- 
miHar with the fasbAOiwble fihilosq^^ he was not only a poet 
and It riietorician, but a |;eoi»el3rioiaii, an astrcmcanert a theolo- 
ffsltf and a di^utant. On the ydwigi I am of oimion, that 
Jjgodgaite made ^ons^raUa addiyi«>]i6 to those luiqilifieations c£ 
«Eir ianguag^ in which Chaucer^ Goiver, and O^eare led the 
way: and that he is the first of our writers whose style is cloathed 
wiAithat pen^iDuityi ia which ti^ En^ish ph^aseobgy spears 
at tins day to aft English reader. 

Tio enum^Mlie I^dgate's pieces, woiM be to write the cata- 
logue, of 9. Ulde libnury. Ifo poet «eesns to bavje possessed a 
gneatar versatility >Qf talents. He moves wilh equal ease in 
erery joodeiof ooiapoaition. Hisliymns, and his betiads, ba^ 
ihe same degree of merit : and whetheor his subject lae the tife 
efalieDmitarA Wo, of saint Austin orOuyearlof Wairwick« 
ludicrous or legendary, religious or romantic, » history or an 
aUi^ty, be wrkes with &cilky. Has transitions we^re jrapii 
from iwoiks ef the. most. seidoBis jsnd laborious kind to aalUes <tf 

wardl the Fomijb, his Oj$ene and Mbdir U thet70wn» 1461. Htts ^^ tlptiour 

are remembered. MSS. HarL ibid. 9. author died, 1482. Xiydgate, in fab Phi^ 

M ^ Sm ibfse ivw9«0 cMdnotiweU um^ui^s meoliqBf tbie &atb «f Hexmr 

be written by Lydgate. For he was ov- lord W^arwid^ who died in 1446. MSS* 

dttnedajfuhidcacon, 1389. Deacon^] S9S. HdirL ^bid. 120. ^L 955. . 
And priest, 1S97. Registr. Gul. Crat- " See one of his Dmns, MSS. HarL 

field, «Uhatb 4e 9i^, i>1^5& GcH^ !£»• 925;S.ti.foLl4B. 

&$3(.^i.S5.S& SiAvmr^^Bomet IhaTeb«en<)fl|ejnj^ersloii4yBf^* 



EKGLI6H PO£TRY« 3S8 

levity and pieces of populir enlertamiBCBt. KUs mutfe waa of 
umTersal access ; and be was not ooty the poet of bis monas* 
tery, bat of the wcM'ld in general. If a diiiguisiiig was intended 
bjr the company of goldsmiths, a mask b^iure his majesty at 
El&am, a may-game for die dieri£& and aldermen of London^ 
■a mmnmiDg before the lord mayor, a prooea^on of pageants 
'from the creataoQ for the festival of CSmrpus Chrkti, or a loa* 
rol for die c<^onaden, Lydgate wai consuked and gave the 
f)oetay». 

. AlK>itt^dieyear 1490, Whe&amstede the learned and M9)end 
abbot of saint Albans, being desirous of fisBSiarisiAgche hi^^iy 
of his patron saint to the numks of his conYent, eiiq)loyed Lyd- 
gate, as it should seem, then a monk of Bnry, to translate the 
Xiatin legend of his life in ikiglish rhymes. The dnrcffiider 
who records a part of this anecdote seems to eopaider Lydgate^ 
trandation, as a matter of mere manual mechanism; for he adds, 
jthat Whelhamstede paid for the translation, the .writkig, and 
iBamkiations, one hundred shillings* It was placed before the 
altar of the saint, which Whethamstede afterwards adorned 
with much magnificence, in the abbey church^. 

Our armor's stanzas, called the Dancb of Death, whidi he 
translated firom the French, at the request of the chapter of sunt 
Paul's, to be inscribed under the representation i^De atk lea£ng 
all ranks of mai about the cloister of their church in a curious 
series of paintmgs, are well known. But their history has not, 

^ See a Tariety of his pieces of this large perdon of the anofnymoiis rirfmes 

lund, M88. Ashmol. 59. ii. Sterwesays, x)f his age.— Hie Coventry Plays bear 

that at the reeepdon of Margaret ^een <iio internal-marks of Lydgate's hand.— 

of Henry Sixfli, several pageaunts, the EDrr/| 

•rersei by Lydgate, were shewn at Bmi]*8 ^ Crjesr. Jdh. Whethamst. ut supra, 
vate, in 1445. Hist. p. 385. See also p. crvi. czxyfi. cxxiv. His added, that 
lifSS. Harl. 2251. 118. foi 250. b. Whethamstede expended on the binding, 
'The CovBMTET Plat for Corpus CBirisd and other exterior ornaments of the ma- 
day, in the Cotton Bbrary, was very pro- nuscri|>^ upwards of three pounds. Bale 
btiAy written -by our author. V tsrAS. and Pitts saj, that Whethamstede him- 
H. iniL -fol. [Mr. Ritson, in ins Biblio- ^If made me translation, p. 584. €30. 
I^raphia Poetica, has fur^shed a list of It is in Trinity colleffe at Oiford, MSS. 
"851 ^eoes written by liydjpite. Many la And "in Lincoln cathedrd, MSS. 
«f them, however, are attributed to him I. 57. Among L^dgate's worics is re- 
upon authcnrity of no very early ^te, and -cited,'Fthi S.AlbaniMartt/riuid36sL Fau- 
1ie4s doubtlessly.made-respoinft}le for ii -mxhtarivbi [Whediamstede] dbbatem* 



S64 THE HISTORY OF 

I believ^ yet appeared. These verses, founded <mi a sort of 
fijHritual masquerade, anciently celebrated in dinrches', were 
brigtnally written by c»ie Macaber in German rhymes, and 
were translated into Latin about the year 1460| by one who 
calls himself P^xus Desrey Orator, lliis Latin trandation 
was puUished by Gdklastus, at the end of the Speculuh oh- 
NiUH Statuum Tonus OKBI8 TERiURUM Compiled by Rode- 
ricus Zamorensis, and printed at Hanau in the year 1613^ 
But a French translation was made much earlier than the Latii^ 
and wiittoi about the walls of saint lanocaits clmster at Paris; 
from whidi Lydgate formed his English version '. 

* See flupra, p. 43. Note '. SpeiiKr, that Oeorgiiu JEmyVia piib- 

A Dakcb or DcATH ■ectin to be aL liihed thit Dahck >I Lyooi, IS*S ; <nw 

ludcdlosoeu-ljuiDHerceFlowmui'i jreu- before Holbdn's painting it Baidl 

Visioira, written about 1350. appeared. Neit, at the nme place, 

fisaiacaiaedrinnciftwaiidaltodiiit riri. ""_. _■ . i^ w l 

saahed ^ " antient complete French 

P^ m7olioatLyon«.inl499,,ogetir«d^ 

^^^ »ome other abort spiritual pieces, atider 

> In 4to. the title La Gfaad DtHW MacAauAi 

' SeetheDiDHCEorMActm.MSS. hommaet da fimma kiilanie, avcc de 

Hark 1 1G. 9. fbl, 199. And Oaaiavi. btma ihtt en Xorfn M hvilaim m J^Von- 

iiOMa on the Fairt Queih. toI. ii. tail, kc. To tbii work Enwnui ^udca 

p.116. leq. The Dakci or DiiTH, &kl]r in the diird book of his Ratio Cohctio- 

(uppoaedto lu*ebMii ioTanted bj' Hof- vasih, wbece he itfi, "Quia et nJ- 

bein, U lUffeTent Irom this, though gam riieloristte eeniuenint hoc decu^ 

founded in the same idea. It wu paint- qui intcrdum Teraibus certo numera 

ad by Hidbain in the Ai^uMine monas- campreboHn, po clauaula, erriniim 

lei7 at Bsbil, 1543. But it appeared breiem et argulam aententiain, Telutm 

mach earlier. In the ehronicle of Hart- Rhjthmis quoa Gallut qtiia|BaiD edidit 

minnua Schedeliu*, Norimb. 1493. foL in CuoaxAtt Mortis." tfnii. v. Opp, 

In the Quotidian Offices of the church, peg. 10O7. Naude (alls tbii alle^ij, 
'* Cboea ab eiimio MacabiD edits. " 

' Hxecva. p. S£4, I believe the SrM 

r Latin edition, that of Pierre Dearer 

, which I bare mentioned, was printed 

. at Trojes in 1490, not 146a Tie 

• French bare an old poem, partlf on 

I the same idea. La Dahu nu Atid- 

I BLu, tinder the conduct of Loie, For- 
tune, and Death, written b; Pierre Hi- 

■ cbault, aboiU the jax 1466. See Mm. 

> AcAs. iKaum. et Bar- T-rr. ii. T4& 

. And Goujet, BuL. Fa. ix. 35a. In Da 
Bure's BinJOOBAmiE iMaraDCTiTa, aa 

' olderbutlesaperfect editionofXc2hiiua 
Maa^rt ii '' ' '...-.... 



I486, for Guvot Marchant. f<A. Jn th 
edition the I'rencb rhymes are aaidt 



ENGLISH POETftV. tCi 

. In the British Museum is a most splendid and elegant ma* 
nuscript on vellum, undoubtedly a present to king Henry ihe 
Siatth^* It contains a set of Lydgate's poems, in hcmour of 
saint Edmund the patron of his monastery at Bury. Besides 
the decoration of illuminated initials, and one hundred and 
(wenty pictures of various sizes, representing the incidents re* 
lated in the poetry, executed with the most delicate pencil, and 
exhibiting the habits, we^)ons, architecture, utensils^ and many 
i^er curious particulars, belon^ng to the age of the ingenious 
illuminator, there are two exquisite portraits of the king, <me of 
William Curteis abbot of Bury, and one of the poet Lydgate 
luieeling at saint Edmund's shrined In one of the king^s pic- 
tures, he is represented on his throne, crowned, and receiving 
this voluble from the abbot kneeling: in another he appears as 
a child prostrate on a carpet at saint Edmund's shrine, which 
is richly delineated, yet without any idea of perspective or pro- 
portion. The figures of a great number of monks and atten- 
dants are introduced. Among the rest, two noblemen, perhaps 
the king's uncles, with bonnets, or caps, of an uncommon shape. 
It appears that our pious monarch kept his Christmas at this 
magnificent monastery, and that he remained here, in a state 
of seclusion from the world, and of an exemption from public 
cares, till the fidlowing Easter : and that at his departure he 
was created a Iwrother of tlie chapter ^ It is highly probable, 
that this sumptuous book, the poetry of which was undertaken 
by Lydgate at the commuid of abbot Curteis^, was previously 
prepared, and presented to his majesty during the royal visit, 
or very soon afterwards. The substance of the whole work is 

be by Michel Marot. tom. i. p. 512. Salisbury, MSS. Harl. 4ft26. 1. It was 

mtm. 8109. Becl. LETTti. Hehascata- written 1426. Another of these drawings 

logued all the anttent editions of this will be mentioned below, 
^ece in French, which are many. Fiene ' Fol. 6. 

Desrey above mentioned wrote a French ^ Curteis was abbot of Bury between 

romance called La Genealogxe, op the years 1429 and 1445. It appears that 

Godfrey of Bouloign. Paris, 1511. fol. Lydgate was also commanded, '* Late 

— ADorrioKs.] ^ charchyd in myn oold days,** to make 

^ MSS. Had. S978. 4to. ' an English metrical translation of De 

' There is an antient drawing, pro- Profuruiis, &c. To be hung against the 

bably coeval, of Lydgate presenting his walls of the abbey church. MSS. HarL 

poem called the Pilgkih to the carl of 2255. 11. fol. 40* See the last stanza. 



/ 



$6€ .•THJ£ HISTOHY OF 

the life or history of saint Edniimd» whom the poet calls *the 
(Cpi^^us charbonde <^ martirs alk V In some of the pre^ 
fetoiy pictures, there is a descri^on and a ddinealion of tw<> 
bamiers, pretended tobdongto saint Edmund^ One of these 
is most bnlliandy displayed, and chai*ged with Adam and Eye, 
the serpent with a human diape to the middle the tree of life, 
the holy lamb, and a variety of symbdical onminaxts. This 
banner our bard feigns to have be^i borne by his'saint, who 
was a king of the East Angles, against die Danes: and he pro* 
phesies, that king Henry, with this ensign^ would always return 
victorious^. The other banner, given also to saint Edmund, 
appears to be painted with the arms of our poet's monastiery, 
md its blazcming is thus described* 

The* other standard, field sable, off colour ynde'. 

In which of gold been notable crownys thre, 

The first tokne : in cronycle men may fynde, 

Grauntyd to hym for royal dignyte : 

And the second for his virgynyte : 

For martyrdam the thridde, in his sufiringt 

To these annexyd feyth, hope^ and chaiyte, 
In tokne he was mar^, mayd, and kyng. 
These three crownys"^ kynge Edmund biur oerteyn. 
Whan he was sent by grace of goddis hand. 
At Geynesburuhe for to ^eyn kyng Sweyn; 

A sort of office, or service to saint Edmund, consisting of an 
antiphone, versicle, re^nmse, and collect, is introduced with 
these verses. 

^ Tbe poet's Prayer to taint Edmund Fremund. fi>L 69. b. But Ljdgats hat 
fir hit attittance m compiling hit uwEf made many additions. It be^ns thus, 
foL 9. •n«hUt«tt,beginslhu.,foI. 10. b. ^^^ ^^ rem«n*» the mynda »«. 

In Saxonie whilom tfaer was a k]nig neilims 

CalHd Alkmond of ezoeUent noblene. Whidi O^ Jbemi list for his sejntes 

It seems to be taken from Jchn of Hn^ fbewe. 

mouth*s SAHCTiLooiuMy who flourished Compare MSSb HmA, STS. I. S. foL 1. 

about the year 1S60. At the end, con- 25. 43. b« 

nected with saint Edmund's Wend, and ^ FdL 2. 4* ^ PbL 2. > bl«e^ 

a part of the work, is the life of saint *" See fol, lOS. b. f. 104. 



KNGI^ISHPOETBY. S67 

To all men present, or in absence, 
Whiche to seynt Edmund have devocioii 
With hool herte and dewe reverence 
Seyn^ this antephne and this orison ; 
Two hundred days is grauntid of pardoun, 
Writ and registred afibm his holy shryne, 
Which Sot our feyth siifirede passioun, 
Blyssyd Edmund, kyng, martyr, and virgyne. 

This is our poet's Venvaye. 

Go littel book, be ferfiill, quaak for drede^ 
For to appere in so hyhe presence®. 

Lydgate's poem called the Ly^e Of our Ladt, printed by 
CaxtonP, is op^ied with these harmonious and el^aat lines, 
whidi do not seem to be destitute of that eloqueiKaB which the 
author wishes to share with TuUy, Petrarch, and Chaucer^ 
He compares the holy Virgfai to a star. 

O thoughtfidl hert^j longed in distresse 

With slombre of slouth, this long wynter's night ! 

Out of the slepe of mortal belrinesse 

Awake otion, ^id Idee u^M the light 

Of thilke st^rre, that #itft heir bemys bright, 

And with the shynynge c^hesr stremes mer^^ 

Is wont to glad all our hemisperie' !-*- 

This sterre in beautie passith Pleiades, 

Bothe of shynynge, and eke of stremes clere, 

Bootes, and Arctur, and also lades, 

And Esperus, whan that it doth appere : 

For this is Spica, with her brighte spere*. 

That towarde evyn, at mi^iyght, and at morow^ 

Downe from heyyn adawith' al our sorowe.-— 

* sing; [tay.] - byrdie of our taani Uessed Bady,*' &c 
" Fol. 118. b. Without date. fol. Afterwards by Ro- 

* « This book waaooDBqpyled by Daa bert Redman, 15S1. 4to. See tos. 
John Lydftte monke of Burye, at die Harl. 629. fol. inenUifaii. 
excitation and styriyvgt of the noble and * Oap^ xxxiii. nodr. 

victorious pf^pnte, Harry the Fyfthe, in ' hemis{dmre. ' sphere, 

the honowre^ ^ory and reTcrance of the ^ affrigfat) reaiore, [awakens.] 



86t TH£ HISTORYOF 

And dryeth up the bytter terys wete 

Of Aurora, after the morowe graye, 

That she in wq)ying dothe on floures flete**, 

In lusty Aprill, and in fressh^ Maye : 

And causeth Phebus, the bryght somers daye, 

Wyth his wayne gold-ybomed^, bryght and fiiyre, 

To' enchase the mystes of our cloudy ayre. 

Now fayre sterre, O sterre of sterrys all ! 
Whose lyght to se the angels do delyte, 
So let the gold-dewe of thy grace yfall 
Into my breste, lyke scalys fayre and whyte, 
Me to enspire^ ! — — — — 

Lydgate's manner is naturally verbose and diffuse. This 
circumstance contributed in no small degree to give a clearness 
luid a fluency to his phraseology. For the same reason he is 
often tedious and languid. His chief excellence is in descripr 
tion, especially where the subject admits a flowery diction. He 
is seldom padietic, or animated. 

In anodier part of this poem, where he collects arguments 
to convince unbelievers that Christ might be born of a pure 
virgin, he thus speaks of God's omnipotence. 

And he that made the high and cristal heven, 
The firmament, and also every sphere, 
The golden ax-tre^, and the sterres seven, 
Cidierea, so lusty for to' appere, 
And redde Marse*, with his sterne here; 
Myght he not eke onely for our sake 
Wythyn s^ mayde of man his* kynde take? 

For he thiit dodi the tender braunches sprynge. 
And the firesshe flouris in the grete mede, 
That were in wynter dede and eke droupynge, 

. \/toat; drop. ia fid fiufre jgraven on a red rose, in 

"^Burnished toith gold. So in Lyd- lettris of sourmib gokU MSS. Hail, 

gate's Legend on Dan Joos a monk, 2251. 39. fol. 71. b. 
taken from Vincentius Bdlovacensis's 'prologue. ' of the siw. 

Speculum Historials, the name Maria ■'■ Maru * nature. 



ENGLISH POETRY* 369 

Of bawm^ all yvoyd and lestyhede ; 
Myght he not mnke his grayne to growe and sede, 
Wkhin her brest, that was bodi mayd and wyfe, 
Whereof is made the sothfast ** breade of lyfe ? ^ 

We are surprised to find verses of so modem a cast as the 
following at such an early period ; which in this sagacious age 
we should judge to be a forgery, was not their genuineness au- 
thenticated, and their antiquity confirmed, by the venerable 
types of Caxton, and a multitude of unquestionable manuscripts. 

Like as the dewe discendeth on the rose 
With sylver drops,** — — — 

Our Saviour's crucifixion is expressed by this remarkable 
metaphor^ 

Whan he of purple did his baner sprede 
On Calvarye abroad upon the rode, 
To save mankynde. ^ — — — 

Our author, in the course of his panegyric on the Virgin 
Mary, affirms, that she exceeded Hester in meekness, and Judith 
in wisdom ; and in beauty, Helen, Polyxena, Lucretia, Dido, 
Bathsheba, and RacheF. It is amazing, that in an age of the 
most superstitious devotion so little discrimination should have 
been made between sacred and profane characters and incidents* 
But die common sense of mankind had not yet attained a just 
estimate of things. Lydgate, in another piece, has versified 
the rubrics of the missal, which he applies to the god Cupid : 
and declares, with how much delight he fi-equendy meditated 
on the holy legend of those constant martyrs, who were not 

* true. A mery tale I telle yow may 

^ Cap. XX. Of seynt Marie that si^ete may : 

^ Cap. xix. * Cap. ix. AUe the tale of this lessone 

f Cap. iv. In a Life of the Virgin in Is of her Assumptione.-— — 

the British Museum, I find these easy Mary moder, welle thee be ! 

lyrics introduced, MSS. Harl. 2882. 2. Mary may den, thenk on me ! 

3. foL 75. fol. 86. b. Though I am not Mayden and moder was never none, 

certain that they properly belong to this Togader, lady, save thee allone. 

^'***'^ • But these lines will be considered again. 

VOL. 11. 2 B 



979 iF»F Hisf9^¥ 9f 

afraid to sufier death % ijie &i^ /^^p^/pppdppl^ ^tjmty '« 
There 9;r^ i^^st^nc^ m wki<^h ^^t^^ W9S fsf^ im# It^e in- 
stnunent ^ love. ^laiai:^ Pai^, f ^e^i^elagi^^it^ itrpuibMour of 
the thirteeolb cpv^varf, la a fit of a^Qopou3 .4eqpfdpr> pr^m^ses to 
found a multitude of annual masses, and to dedicate pem^tJial 
timers to the dirines of saints, for the important purpose of pb- 
taaning Ae affections of an cMurate mistressir 



l^VaLl$H POI^TAY. $71 



SECTION XXH 



JjUT Lydgate*s principal poeins are the Fall op Princes, 
the Siege of Thebes, and the Destruction op Troy. Of 
all these I shall speak distinctly. 

About the year 1S60, Boccacio wrote a Latin history in ten 
books, entitled De Casibus Virorum et Feminarum illus- 
TRiuM. Like other chronicles of the times, it commences with 
Adam, and is brought down to the author's age. Its last grand 
event is Jbhn king of France taken prisoner by the English at 
Ae battle of Pcritiers, in the year 1959*. This book of Boc- 
cado was soon a^rwards translated into French, by one of 
whom litde more seems to be known, than that he was named 
Laurence ; yet so parapfarastically, and with so many consider- 
able additions, as almost to be rendered a new work*'. Lau- 

* Printed at Ausbpurg. And at Paris, tipn into French, to amende, c/nrect, and 

1544 foil. It is amanng, that Vpssius declare, and not to ^Hire tkinget touched 

fdbh^id^ not 1^^ 0^ numl^r of books shortli/. Ibid. cpL 2. A^^nvaids l)e cfi^s 

or wiuch this work consisted, and that it him Sus noble transhtour. Ibid. b. ooL 1. 

»as fiirsr piinted. De Hist LaL lib. iii. In another place, whm^e a papcayrlc op 

m, ii. |t WQis ^-ansliit^ into Italiaii France is intrpdiice4, he says £|t tmi 

w Betussii in Firenza, 1566. 8vo. passage is not Boccacio^ but addied,^ 

$^Yolu|n. « . «, . % i»e L^D»BHc«> Fhifih WW liwuftf- 

■> In Lydi^te s Proloous, p<, u fol. i. ^fy^^ 

••. eci. 1. e£t* ut infr, Of this processcto commende Franca; 

He t^ ?umtime 4id his diligence To prayse that l^de was all lus^pfea- 

^e biwe of Eiocljas in Frm^ to /ra9U- taunce, 

fate B. ix. ch. 28. fo). 31, a. coL |. edit, ut 

Out oftfOtinf he called was Laurencs. infr. Our authpr, in t^e Prologue above 

Hir»y»A»<;I.a»repce(inhis Prologue) cited, seemsjp speak as if there Jiadbj^ 

fkclms, th»t he avails himself of the f pre^ous translation of Boccacio's book 

-pwvflegft of *ilful artificers; who may "**° French. Ut supr. a. col. 1. 

chaunge and tume, by good ditcraion, Thu? Lauwnci from pjva envy e«. 

a^fqietmdforffu, and josmly them 4evise, eluded 

make tmd unmake, &c. And that old Though t^ome hm translated was this 

.authors m^y be rendered moire agreeable, book. 

by being cloathed iu new ornaments of But I suspect he only means* th^t Bpc- 

IfUguage, and improved with new in- cajcio*s original wpr)^ was m^t^hing more 

VfflOion^ Xl^d. a. pol. 1. He9dds,tlu^t than a cofiecdon qr copapi^i^n ^rpfn 

it was Laurence's design, in hi^ transla- ipor^ ancient ^iithors. 

2b 2 



372 THE HISTORY OP 

rence's French translation, of which there Is a copy In the Bri- 
tish Museum^, and which was printed at Lyons in the year 
1483', is the original of Lydgate's poem. This Lauraice or 
Laurent, sometimes called Laurent de Premier&it, a village in 
the diocese of Troies, was an ecclesiastic, and a famous trans- 
lator. He also translated into French Boccacio's Decameron, 
at the request of Jane que^i of Navarre : Cicero de Amicitia 
and DE Senectute ; and Aristotle's Oeconomics, dedicated to 
Louis de Bourbon, the king's uncle. These versions appeared 
in the year 14«14 and 1416 ^ Caxton's Tullius of Old Age, 
or De Sf^NECTUTE, printed in 1481, is translated from Lau- 
rence's French version. Caxton, in the postscript, calls him 
Ldturence de p-imo facto. 

Lydgate's poem consists of nine books, and is thiis entitled 
in the earliest edition. ^^ The Tragedies gd,thered by John 
BocnAS of all such princes as fell from theyr estates throughe 
the mutability of fortune since thecREACiON of Adam until his 
. time, &c. Translated into English by John Lidgate monke 
of Burye^" The best and most authentic manuscript of thb 
piece is in the British Museum ; probably written under the 
inspection of the author, and perhaps intended as a present to 
Humphrey duke of Glocester, at whose gracious command the 
poem, as I have before hinted, was undertaken. It contains 
among numerous miniatures illustrating the several histories, 
portraits of Lydgate, and of another monk habited in black, 
perhaps an abbot of Bury, kneeling before a prince, who seems 

^ MSS. HarL See a^ ibid. MSS. mentioned by the Frendi antiqpiariesas 

Ru;« 18 D. vii. And 16 G. v. And one of Laurence's translations. Ly$l- 

MsS. BodL F. 10. 2. [2465.] He is gate, in the Prologue above dted, ^ 

said to baye translated this work in 1409. serves, that Laurence, who in cuwfng 

MSS. Re^. ut supr. 20 C. iv. did exceU undertook this translation at 

' In foho. Bayle says, that a French the request of some eminent porsonages 

translation appeared at Paris, by Clau- in France, who had the interest otrke- 

diu8 Vitart, in 1578. 8vo. Diction. Boc- torike at heart. Ut supr. a. col. 2. 

CACK. Note '• ' Imprinted at London by John Way- 

^ He died' in 1418. See Martene, land, without date, fol. He printed in 

AmpL CoUect. torn. ii. p. 1405. And the reign of Henry the Eighth. There 

■ Mem. de Utt. xviL 759. 4to. Compare is a small piece by Lydgate, not con- 

du Verdier, Biblioth. Fr. p. 72. Anid nected with this, entiUed The Tragedy 

Bibl. Rom.,ii. 291.- It is extraordinary ofjirinces that were lechekous. MSS. 

that the piece, before u» should- not be A^mol. 59. ii. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 373 

^o be saint Edmund, seated on a throne under a canopy, and 
g'^rng an arrow «^. 

The w6«v is not unproperly styled a set of tragedies. It is not, 
merely a narrauTo of men eminent for their rank and misfor- 
tunes. The plan is p%rfectly dramatic, and partly suggested 
by the pageants of the times. Every personage is supposed to 
appear before the poet, and to relate tig respective sufferings : 
and the figures of these spectres are somethnec finely drawn. 
Hence a source is opened for moving compassion, and for a 
display of imagination. In some of the lives the author replies 
to the speaker, and a sort of dialogue is introduced for conduct^ 
ing tiie story. Brunchild, a queen of France^ who murthered 
all her children, and was afterwards hewn in pieces, appears 

thus. 

* 

She came, arayed nothing like a queue. 

Her hair untressed, Bochas toke good hede; 

In al his booke he had afore not sene 

A mor^ wofiill creature indede, n 

With wq)ing eyne, to tome was al her wede : 

Rebuking Bochas cause he' had left behynde 

Her wretchednes for to put in mynde. ** 

♦ 

Yet in some of these interesting interviews, our poet excites 
pity of another kind. When Adam appears, he &miliarly ac- 
costs the author with the salutation of Cosyn Bochas'.^ 

Nor does our <lramatist deal only in real characters and his- 
torical personages. Boccacio standing pensive in his library, 
is alarmed at the sudden entrance of the gigantic and mcmstrous 
image of Fortune, whose agency has so powerful and univer- 
sal an influence in human a£birs, and especially in effecting 
those vicissitudes which are the subject of this work. There 
is a Gothic greatness in her figure, with some touches of the 
grotesque. An attribute of the early poetry of all nations, be- 
fore ideas <^ selection haVe taken place. I must add, that it 

■ MSS. HarL 1766. fol. 5. style he calls Ixion Juno's MeenUanf* 

^ Lib. Tii. f. XXI. a. coL 1. B. i. ch. ziL fol. zzi. b. col. 2. 

' B. i. fol. i. a. coL 2. In the same 



i74 TriE rilSTORY OF 

was Boethius'i admired allegoty on the GoJ^§6tATioil of Ph<* 
LosoPHY, which introduced personification Mio flie pide*^ ^ 
ihe middle ages. 

Whyle Bochas pcnsyfe stode in b^ lybraryc^ 

Wyih chere oppressed, pal*- ^ hjs vysage, 

Somedeale abashed -Jone and solitarye; 

To hym Qx^pottted a monstruous ymage, 

rkrted in twayne of color and corage. 

Her ryght syde fiil of $ommer floures. 

The tother oppressed with winter stormy showres. 

Bocliaii astcoiied, full feiftrfbU to abrayde, 
Whoi he bdidd the wond^iull fygufe 
Of Fortune, thus to hymself he sayde. 
** What may this meane ? Is this a creature. 
Or a monstre transfourmed agayne nature. 
Whose brennilig eyen spercle of dieir lygh^ 
As do the sterres the firosty wynter nyght?" 

And of her cher£ ful god h^de he tdce; 

Her hem scjmyng cruel and terrible, 

And by disdayn^ mettacit^ of lokef ; 

Her heare untrussd, harde, sharpe, and horybl^ 

r^rottarde of shape, lothsotTie, tod odible : 

An httadred handes she had, of eche part*^. 

In soiidf ye wise her gyftes to departs K 

Some of her hand^s lyft up men dofte^ 
To bye estate of worldlye dignity ; 
Another hand^ g^^P^ ^^ unsofte^ 
Which cast another in grete adver^ite, 
Gate one ricbess^ another poverty &f»->— 

« 

Het habyt^ ^as of manyfolde colours, 
Watchet blewfe of feyned stedfastness^ 
Hei* gold aHayd Bke i^un in watry sho^res, 
Meynt^ with grene, for chaunge and doublenesses^Nb^ 

^ on either side. ^ distribute. "• mingled. 



dabtimely conceived. Afte^ a km^ liilenc^ #il3i d ^^&m' 

on the Fevolutions and changes which it is her bnsdnesn to pro- 
duce among men of the most pro^rous eotiditi<m and the most 
elevated station, she calls up Caius Marius, and presents lum 
to (he poet 

Blacke was his wede, and his habjrte also. 

His heed unkempt, his lock^s hore and gray, 

His loke do^ne-cast in token ot sorowe and wo; ^ 

Oh hid chekes the salt^ teares lay. 

Which bare recorde of his deadly affray. 

itis rohh stayned was \^ith R(Hnayne blode,^ 
His sworde aye r6dy whet to do tengedunce; 
Lyke a tyraunt most furyouse and wode", 
In ^latightet and murdre set stt Im pleisiCQhce, * 

She then teaches itochas how tb describe his tife, and dii* 
appears. 

These word^s sayd^, Fortune made an ende. 
She bete her wyngesy and toke h^ to %ght|> 
I can not sh what waye she did wende ; 
Save Bochas tellefh, lyke ah ahgell bryght, 
At her departihg she shewed a great lygh€. ^ 

In another place, Dantie, " of Florence ftie laureate poete^ 
demure of loke fullfiQed with patience," appears Co ]^ochas ; 
and commands him to write the tale of Gualter dute of Flo* 

in fthiichefi. TMil^ ^en vaAishe^^ and onty duk^ Outtlti^ i^ 
M alone wkli ^ pbtt\ F^rtitdk is A^ ih$#bduc^ (of t&ef 
same purpose ^ 

■ ttiaa, ** Ibid. f. cxxiviS. b. col. 5t cularly coAiiiiehdea. 6. iv. Trot UL 

^ Ibid. fbl. GXlxit. a. col. ^. xciu. a. col. .t. 

' B. ix. fol. XXXIV. b. c6l. 1. 2. In ' 6. vtTu tol I. ?r6l. a. b. He fneu- 

another place Danfd*tf fhrfe b'dokt on tions all Petrarch's worlds, Prol. », iv. 

heaven, purgatory, and hell| are parti- fol. 9?. a. col. I. 



376 THE HISTORY OF 

The following golden couplet, concerning the prodigies whsdi 
preceded the civil wars between Cesar and Pompey, indicates > 
dawnings of that poetical colouring of expression, and of that fii- 
cility of versification, which mark die poetry of the present times. 

Serpents and adders, scaled sylver-bryght. 
Were over Rome sene flying al the nyght. ^ 

These verses, in which the poet describes the reign of Sa- 
turn, have much harmony, strength, and dignity. 

Fortitude then stode sted&st in his might, 
Defended wydowes, cherishd chastity ; 
Knyghtehood in prowes gave so clere a light, 
Girte widi his sworde of truthe and equity. ^ 

Apollo, Diana, and Minerva, joining the Roman army, when 
Rome was besieged by Brennus, are poetically touched. 

Appollo first yshewed his presence, 
Fresshe, yonge, and lusty, as any sunne shene, 
Armd all with golde; and with great vyolence 
Entred the felde, as it was wel sene : 
And Diana came with her arowes kene : 
And Mynerva in a bryght habeijoun ; 
Which in ther coming made a terrible soun. " 

And the following lines are remarkable. 

God hath a diousand hand^s to chastyse, 
A thousand dart^s of punicion, 
A thousand bow^s made in divers wyse, 
A thousand arlblasts bent in his dongeon. "^ 

Lydgate, in this poem, quotes Seneca's tragedies^ for the 
story of Oedipus, Tully, Virgil and his commentator Servius, 
Ovid, Livy, Lucan, Lactantius, Justin ^ (x ^^ prudent Justinus 

* B. vi. fol. 147. eueoL 1. ^ B. i. ch. 11. foL xxL b. col. 2. B. ii. 

^ B. viL fol. 161* b. coL 1. ch. 6. foL xIt. a. col. 1. B. iii. ch. H. 

" B. IT. ch. 22. fol. cziii. a. col. 1. foL Ixzzi. b, col, 1. Ibid. ch. 25. fol. 

^ towtr ; castle. B. 1. ch. S. fol. vi. Ixxxix, a. col. 2. B. iv. ch. li. foL m. b. 

a. col. 1. col. 1. See Frol, B. i« 
' B. i. ch. 9. fd* zTiiL a. col. 1. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 377 

an old croniclere," Josephus, Valerius Maximus, saint Jerom's 
chronicle^ Boethius', Plato on the immortality of the soiil% 
and Fulgentins the mythologist^. He mentions ^^ noble Per- 
sius," Prosper's epigrams, Vegetius's book on Tactics, which 
was highly esteemed, as its subject coincided with the chivalry, 
of die times, and which had been just translated into French 
by John of Meun and Christina of Pisa, and into English by 
John Trevisa*^, " die grene chaplet of Esop and Juven^V* 
Euripides ^^ in his tyme a great tragician, because he wrote 
many tragedies," and another called Clarke Demosthen^es^ 
For a catalogue of Tull/s works, he refers to the Speculum 
HiSTORiALE ^ or Myrrour Hystoriall^ of Vyncentius^Bellova- 
censis; and says, that he wrote twelve books of Orations, and 
several marall ditties'. Aristotle is introduced as teaching 
Alexander and CalUsthenes philosophy ^ With regard to 
Homer, he observes, that " Grete Omerus, in Isidore ye may 
see, founde amonge Grekes die crafte of eloquence L" By Isi- 
dore he means the Origines, or Etymologies of Isidore His- 

* B. ii. ch. 15. fol. H. a. col. 1. col. 2. gate, monk of Bury, and Fowlkb bygan 
Ibid. ch. 16. fol. Hi. a. col. 2. Ibid.ch.2. his prolog in this wyse. Where fiourt of' 
fol. zlii. a. col. 1. Ibid. ch. 30. fol. Ixii. krd^hihotidthehaicaedaaiT^uaeriiA, 386. 
b. col. 1. B. viii. ch. 24. foL xliii. a. MS& Laud. K. 53. The Prc^ogue 
col. 2. conasts of ten stanzas: in wMdi he 

* B. iii. ch« 5. fol. Ixxi. a. oo). 1. compares himself to a dwarf entering 
^ B. ix. ch. 1. fol. XX. a. col. 1. From the lists when the knight is foiled. But 

whom Boccacio largely transcribes in his it is the yong Fowusa, in MSS. Laud. 

GENBALOGiiB Deokum, hereafter men- B« zxiv. In the Harleian copy of this 

tioned. piece I find the following note, at fol. 236. 

' MSS. Digb. Bibl. BodL 23S. Trm-- '< Here deyde the translatour a noble 

ctp. '* In olde tyme it was the manere.'* poete Dan Johne Lydgate, and his fn* 

finished at the command of his patron lowere beffan his prologe in this wne. 

Thomas lord Berkeley. See supra, Per Benedictum Burghe. Where floure 

p. 178. oft**&c MSS. Harl. 2251. 117. Where 

^ Prol. B. !▼• foL 92. a. coL 2. 93. a. Fohwere may be a corruption of Fohoerr 

col. I. or Fowler, But it must be obsenredt 

* B« ii. ch. 22. foL 54. b. col. 2. that therewasa Benedict Burshe, coeval 
' See supra, voL i. p. 137. with Lydjgate, and pre f erred to many 
' B. tL di. 15. fol. 151. b. col. U dignities m the church, who translated 
^ B. iv. ch. 9. foL xcix. seq. Tliis is into English verse, for the use of lord 

from Aristotle's Skcretum Sscretorum, Boiurchier son of the earl of Essex, Ca- 
which Lydgate, as I have mentioned TONismordiiaeanntna, altered and print- 
above, tranakted. Buthe did not finish ed by Caxton, 1483^ foh More will be 
the tran^tion : for about the middle of said of Bursa's woriL In its proper place, 
it we have this note. ^ Here dyed this * B. ii. (£. 15. foL 51. a. coL 2. 
tranblatoir and notable poet John Lyd- 



flfYd TUB HliT<>RV Of 

tkei esKcjrcl^ptede of «b6 ddrk ng^ «Im1 priAfe^ m Ita^ h€k^^ 
th^ yeiff 1472 ^. lA another place^ he eenadu^ed the dinguter 
pittrd^ty of the book called Omerey whkl^ plddes AehSks abot^ 
Ws^tibt^i Ageatif speAing of the Gh-edc wiilers, ho fe& o^ 
tbdt S6(^ia9 ^tt^on^ a^ scriveynj or dcribe^ who m a diiiail 
^lefkH of ^d^ i^0ff« Ate d^tritfc^n of Troy, Mowing Ha- 
md* : ^ hktc^ irM^h esteemed dibMg fhe Cr^teks^ oti aecMiit 
rf ittf l3¥6v4ty»; Thk w^ Dietysf Cr«)eft^ or Cftres Phry- 
l^ij^ ^ for jy^^^allmg di6 atchkfv^iien£s of thef kn^tfttf 
cf A^ f d^lvnd tftbte^ he supj^s^ that H de^k wa^ appointed^ ^stA 
thttt Ali§ ^olhpiled tf ^egtste^ from t^ ^utsuivmts «^ hel^dff 
^1k!^ a^f^ioded iSa^ Uiixxmtfittii&i and that thenci^ the histc^dif 
(tf fflDM kitmcibte^ champion^ wer6 framed^ whieh, whediel^ t^ii& 
d^ s#ag; YkB.^6 a^orded ^ ti^t^h ddi^°. for the sto)?^ of 
G6tistaAt^ ai^ Arthi^ he brings; as his vouchers, the cfaf 0- 
nicJe or romuiCe called Brut or BRUTtJS, and Geoflfrey of 
MdltiMotid**^, He concludes the legend of Constantine by tdl- 
ing us, that an equestrian statue in brass is still to be seen at 
Constattfindpleof tfaat emperor; in which he appears ^rmed'v^ith 
a prodigious s^ol^d, menacing the Torks^'. In describing the 
fkntheon at Roiiie, he gives us some circumstances highly ro- 
il^^tfitic. He relates that this magnificent fane was foil of gigaa^tic 
idok^ l^aced oh lo^y stages v these images were the gods of all the 
lidliohd conquered by thci Romafis, and each tamed hi^ eoim-' 
tditeiee to that province over which he presided. Evety itimge 
leld in liis hand a beU Earned by magic ; and when any king- 
^lotti belongtog to tbfe Rotoan jurisdiction was^ meditating t6^ 
bellion againat^ like imperial city, the idol of that country gave, 
by soihe seci^et pritidiple, d ^ol6mn wai*ning of the distant tteSt- 
$011' by stryburg hisr belly which never sounded oh any other o&« 

1^ S^ G^sM*- B%I. 1^. 4^8. Afid M. 14. b. col. I. foK 1^. s. toh 2, ^ 

iRMt; /tttHai* Tfp. if p. 10&. supra, voL i. p. 66. 

J* 1^ R Rot M. ^ ». coL h »• B. viS. ch. Id. fol. Hn, b. cM; t 

"^ B.- it.* alp. iSi f(>l. .$lv b. tot. 1, Boccacio wrote &ik original Latiir of drfs 

' * BL iffi.'ch. 25. M. i^V. a. col.- i, S^' #ork long before ^e Turks took alid 

tuprs^- coK 1. p. S^l.' seq/ ^dted CoitittbidnQpi^\ in 1453. 

• B. viii. ch. 13. fol. 7. a. col. 2. 



sngLish PdEtiiY. 5?ft 

c§^im <i« Otif MOidf, fbilo^^g ddceacky who Wf c^ the Til«- 
s'Biti)^ dup^s^s th^t Thei^uft lbto(d«d ^ 6rde^ of kni^idtottf 
M Athens ^ He itltt^ude% mti^ i^ the itidtih^t ^ Bdelteiuv 
ildlspatedon b^t^^fi PortuM lind FWetfy ; dfofii^k)^ td hlH^^ 
b^^ written by A^dalvs the blak^^ a d^ctoif df iMrbti/dkii^ if 
)^dj[>i<is, who ^a9 olie tf Bddi^*s ^r^^tori. 

At Naples why lorn, as he dothe speci^e. 
In his yoiith when he' to schole went. 
There was a doctour of astronomy^ — 
Aiid he was called Anddtus the btdki, ^ 

Lydgate appears to have been fiur advanced in years when 
he finished this poem: for at the b^inning of the eighth bool& 
he compUins of his trembling joints, and declares that agpf 
having benmnbed his fiieulties, nas deprived him ^^ of all the sub- 
tylte of curious makyng in Englyssbe to ^idyte "." Our author^ 
in the structure and modulation of his style, seems to have beea 
ambitious <^ rivalling Chaucer^ : whose capital compositions 
he enumerates, and on whose poetry he bestows repeated en* 
oomiums. 

1 cannot quit this work without adding an observation rela* 
ting to Boccacio, its original author, which perhaps may ^. 
serve attention. It is highly probable that Boccacio learned 
many anecdotes of Grecian history and Grecian fi^ley not to 
be found in any Greek writer now extant, from his preceptors 
Barlaam, Leontius, and others, who had lived at C^onstantiK 
nople while ^e Greek literature was yet flourishing* Some of 
these are perhaps scattered up and down in the composition 
before us, which contains a considerable part of the Grecian 
story ; and especially in his treatise of the genealogies of the 

^ B. TiSf: ch. 1. fbT. li. « col; 1. ha^ txixai lAahy ^tieidA aU M itin aelim 

, ' 1^ i. c 13. foL zxii. a. ooU 2. ftU motus bMenderUia.^ I thipk Learide?» 

' ]Bk)ccacio. m bis Italia, calls this Andalds, Anda^ 

* B. iii. ch. 1. foL Ixv. a. col. I. " He lotius nigery currants aslrolog%u. See Fs« 

rede in iOkyh^ the rao^ng 6f fiie h^ ^yrftis MAs. tAog, CM6. il. p. l95. 

T«iM," &c. Boccacio mention^ with " B. vit. Pfol. fbl. i. b. col. 2. tAcHa; 

mutih i^e^irrd Ai^i^Aius de Nioto as &n€ He ttih: htm^lf oMdr than Mi^ yHt^ 

of hif^ miisters, iii his Givixv. Dcoc. ^ Prol B. i. f. iU i,6<^. %te^ 

lib. XT. c^. vt. And-$ays>tiN(t Aftdatus 



380. THEHISTOKYOF 

gods^* Boocacio himiself calls his master heantius ap inex-. 
haustiUe archive of Grecian tales and fableis, although not. 
equally conversant with those of the Latins^. He confesses, 
that he took many things in his book of the genealogies of the. 
gods from a vast work entitled Collectivum, how lost^ written 
by his cotemporary Paulus Ferusinus^ the materials of which 
had in great measure been furnished by Barlaam^. We are 
informed also^ that Perusinus made use of some of these fugi- 
tive Greek scholars, especially Barlaam, for collecting rare 
hodks in that language. Perusinus was librarian, about the 
year 1 840, to Robert king of Jerusalem and Sicily : and was 
the most curious and inquisitive man of his age for searching 
afler unknown or uncommon manuscripts, especially histories, 
and poetical compositions, and particularly such as were ivrit- 
ten in Greek. I will beg leave to cite the words of Boccacio, 
who roeords this anecdote. *^ Et, si usquam curiosissimus fuit 
homo in perquirendis, jussu etiam principis, peregrinis unde- 
cunque libris, Historiis et Poeticis operibus, iste fuit. Et 
ob id, singulari amiciti® Barlase conjunctus, que a Latinis ha- 
bere non poterat £0 medio innumera exhausit a Grjecis*."' 
By these Histohije and Poetica Opera, brought from Crni- 
stantinople by Barlaam, undoubtedly works of ^itertaimnent,' 
and perhaps chiefly of the romantic and fictitious species, I do 
not understand the classics. It is natural to suppose that 
Boccacio, both from his connections and his curiosity, was no 
stranger to these treasures: and that many of these pieces, 
thus imported into Italy by the dispersion of the Constontino- 
polilan exiles, are only known at present through the medium 
of his writings. It is certain that many oriental fictimis found 
their way into Europe by means of this communication. 

Lydgate's Storie of Thebes was first printed by William 
Thinne, at the end of his edition of Chaucer's Works, in 1561* 

' In fifteen books. First printed in ^ Gjekeal. Dbor. lib. zr. cap. vi. 
1481. foL And in Italian by Betiusi, * *' Quioquid apud Gnecoa inyeniri 

Venet. 1553. In French at Paris, 1531. potest, amutorio Barlajb aibitror col- 

fol. In tbe Interpretation pf the fables legisse." Genial. Dbor. lib. zy. cap. yi. , 
he is Toy psoliz and jfjune. * G^keal. Dzor* lib. xv. cap. vL . 



£NaLI8H POETRY. 961 

The author introduces it as an additional Canteibury tale. 
After a severe ^kness, having a design to visit the shrine of 
Thomas a Becket at Canterbury, he arrives in that city while 
Chaucer's pilgrims were assembled there for the same purpose; 
and by mere accident, not suspecting to find so numerous and 
respectable a company, goes to their inn. There is some hu- 
mour in our monk's travelling figure.'' 

In a cope of black, and not of grene. 
On a palfray, slender, long, and lene. 
With rusty bridle, made not for the sale. 
My man tofome with a void male*. 

He sees, standing in the hall of the inn, the convivial host of 
the tabard, fiill of his own importance; who without the least 
introduction or hesitation thus addresses our audior, quite un- 
prepared for such an abrupt salutation. 

— — — Dan Pars, 
Dan Dconinike, Dan Godfray, or Clement, 
Ye be welcome newly into Kent; 
Though your bridle have neither boss, ne bell**, 
Beseching you that you will tell. 
First of your name, &c. — — 
That looke so pale, all devoid of blood, 
. . Upon your head a wonder thredbare hood.* — 

• 

Our host then invites him to supper, and promises that he 
shall have, made according to his own directions, a large pud- 
ding, a round kagisj a French moile, or a phrase of eggs : addr 
ing, that he looked extremely lean for a monk, and must cer- 
tainly have been sick, or else belong to a poor m(mastery : that 
some nut-brown ale after supper will be of service, and that a 
quantity of the seed of annis, cumiAin, or coriander, taken be- 

4 

** Edit. 1687. fol. ad calc. Chaucer's ' See mipra, vol. i. p. 176. Note ^, 
Works, po^. 623. col. i. Prol. - * Ibid, 

^portmanteau. 



fim igmg to be4» iritt ri^mpye g^tuleoci^^ Pgyt ^ve ^ 
JKiys lfa» bofty cbqir&l cpflnpaiiy will be ypiir best phy^jciiM. 
You sbdl iM^ only sup with v^ mi my copqwuon^ this even- 
J9ig^ ^Ut i)9l9}m ind» V9 t^^iprrow yet on c<Hu}kioi39 

tb«t yoii vUl suhmil: U) one of tbe indispensaUe niles of our 
tod^f wA^iA iBtouHfOi eotert^ing story whib we are tn^ 
Telling. 

What, looke »p, Monk^ ' For by icockes^ blood. 
Thou sh^U be m^ryt wboso that s^y nay ; 
For tqrmoncwef anone as it is day, 
And that it ginne in the east to dawe^, 
Thpu shall be bound to ^ newe lawe, 
At gping out of Canterbury toun. 
And }ien aside thy professioun ; 
Thou shaH not chiese^ nor thyself wifhdraw^ 
If any mirth be foimd in thy mawe, 
Like the custon of tl^is compsny; 
For ^1^ so prpude that dar^ me ^eny^ 
Knight, nor kn^ve, ch^ori) priest, ne ik)Oud% 
To ^}le a t^Q plainely fs they cpane ^ 
When I assign^ find s^ time oportune ; 
And, for that we our piuppse wo)l Gontune*^^ 
We wil^ hxrnieFArd the i^ame custmi^ use^ 

Our monk^ unable to withstand this profusion of kindness 
and fiestiyity, ^cepU ^ host's inyitation, and sups with the 
pilgrims. The next mcuming, as t^y are all riding from Cknr 
4erbury to Ospringe, the host ceminds his fri^od Dan Jo^ii of 
what be had n^eiyioned in the evenings and without &rtfaer fsa- 
remoi^y calls for a s^ory. Lydgate obeys his commands, and 
jreeiltts the tragical destruction of the ci^<^Thdbes'^. As the 
«tory is y^ long, a papse is ma^e in descending a yery «teiBp 

f 604*^ f i^w^k *■ anUmue. 

*" chuse. 1 f^ 6S^ col S. tfq, 

' can, or know. "* Ibid. 



l)ill near the Tirope'^ tf Brougito^ on theBUe^ w^^ pox 
tfli^hQT^ w}io yrs^ next fiimished with tl^ijt jaccpijcmiodfitiog fy: 
)^owif^ the tinjie of the day^ which modern ^foprqyi^e^^ j^ 
^jcieiice ha^e giyen to the traveller, .discov^^ by ^ j^^yac^ 
^affixomtLtioa of l^s jcalendax, I suppose soipfe ^^t f"^ ffTfjw^pfd 
Bfiiailey in whkh the s\in's horai^ pv9gF!^ ^9^ ^ f^^^^^^ 
inarked) that it is nine in the morniiig?. 

It has been said, but ml^out gxiy fiutjior^y or pjrfakfUf^i^, 
d^ £!haucer first M^ote this story i^ a Latin fpi^n^ive, W^i^ 
Lydgate afteryir^rds translated iiMx> Eipg^sh verf e. Qyif q^ 
jtjbior's originals are Guido Co^o^n^, St^^ti^^ a^ )S^^NBP4 ^ 
tragedian P. Nichc^as Trevet, an Ei^lisl^nan^ a Dmiini^c^ 
&iar of London, who flourished ako^ t}^ year 1 3^^ k^ }## 
a conmentaiy on Seneca's tra^dies^: fkud he was so fay^^t^ 
^ poet as to have been illustrate^ by Tl^i^^^aiS Ag^inaf '^. l^ 
W0S printed at Venice so early as t^ year 1^8^. Ly4g$|^ f^ 
this poem often refers to myne (f^uctoTj who, I suppps«^ \^ ^eiiM^ 
Statins, or Colonna*. He sometimes cil^s ^qqc^o's L§(^ 
jtracts : particularly the Genealogia Deorjl^, a w(^ W^ic^ 
At the restoration of learning greatly contrijl^ute^ to ^|ni%^i^ 
the classical stories, D^ Casibus vihorum iixu^Taiyi^f, d^ 
ground-work of the Fall of Princes jui^t mention^^ /pi^i Pf 
Claris Mulieribus, in whic)i pope Jo^ is one jof the h^ 
roines^ From tl^e first, he has talqen the s^ry of ^^p^i^ 
building the walls of Thebes by the hjelp of M|src|i^ry's h^fp, 
and the interpretation of that fable, together with the fictions** 

" Or Thorpe, Vto^tij a lod^gp ija 9, col. 2. 635. col. 2. 647. col. 2. 654«pq].1. 

&rest A h|in4/et. It pccufs fgain 659. col. 1. See sypi*, ypl. i. 5. 1^9. 

j>f^. j65^. coL ^ * First pr'iAt^, Ul». 147^ C<^. 

ti * .1 J Ml " Lydgate says, jh|iti^jfW»stJ>«sain« 

Bren townes, %(^,, aiid villi^. i^^^J^^ ^^io CBf^ ^ ^p ally vMb i*- 

Aftd i» ^ T|iOT|c-BoKE, he m«>nt^pn» jsiaqnto ^th^ri? »g^n^ hi? 2)ii>ptto Ar- 

,«< provinQ^s, boro)iw, vyllfg^^ and ^ro- cite, drawn by four wbjte \»4h, and 

jp^#i •' B. ii. c. 3C. • Pag. ^. col. 2. .crowi?«d wit^i a wr(^ pf gold. P|ig.S5a 

? ^ pag. ^30. coL 1. c<^. 2. See Kn. Talji, ]Uiary's Cb. p. 17. 

^ MS& Bodl. NE. p. a.($. LclawJ v. 2131. i^eq. coL 1. Pur imtj^pr «Xr 

«aw this Commentary in the library of pressly reCefs ^o Chaucer's KyiQHT*a 

^ Ci^terai^n abber of Buckfast-Lees Tai.9 about Tlie^u^ and:vvitI>^HUmftd- 

in :peyp^ire. Coll. iii. p. 257. dress, ♦* As ye fe|ivje hfifyjr^ J^e^rd i% *»^ 

' Some say, Thomfi» Ai^l^cus. lated in m9»i?g th^ougjl^ D^pt&rd,'* &c. 

* Pag. 623. col. 2. 630. col. 1. 632. pig. ^. cpL 1. 



S84 THE HISTORY OF 

about Lycurgus king of Thrace''. From the second, as I re- 
cdlect, die accoutrements of Pblymites' : and from the durd, 
part of the tale of Isophile '• He also characterises Boccacio 
for a talent, by which he is not now so generally known, for 
his poetry; and styles him, << among po^es in Itaile stalled '.^ 
But Boecacio's Theseid was yet in vogue. He says, that 
when Oedipus was married, none of the Muses were present, 
as they were at the wedding of Sapience with Eloquenck, 
described by that poet whilom so sage^ Matrician inamed de 
Capella. This is Marcianus Mineus Felix de Capella, who 
lived about the year 470, and whose Latin prosaico-metrical 
work, de Nuptiis PhUologia et Mercuriij in two books, an in- 
troduction to his seven books, or system, of the Seven Sciences, 
I have mentioned before* : a writer highly extolled by Scotus 
Erigena'', Peter of BloisS John of Salisbury, and oAer early 
authors in corrupt Latini^^ ; and of such eminent estimation 
in the dark centuries, as to be taught in the seminaries of phi- 
Idogical education as a classic ^ Among the royal manuscripts 
in the British Museum, a manuscript occurs written about the 
eleventh century, which is a commentary on these nine books 
of Capella, compiled by Duncant an Irish bishop ^ and ^ven 
to his scholars in the monastery of saint Remigius ^. They were 
early translated into Latin leonine rhymes, and are often imi- 
tated by Saxo Grammaticus^ Gregory of Tours has the 
vanity to hope, that no readers will think his Latinify barba- 

^ F^. 623. coL 2. 624» ooL 1. 651. lectiis,**&c. See Wilibaldus, Einst 147. 

^^ !• torn. 11. Vet. Monam. Murten: p. 334. 

'F^. 634.00L 2. 'Ldand says he saw this work in the 

y F^. 648. coL 1. seq. library of Worcester abbey. ColL uL 

• P^. 651. coL 1. p. 268. 

• See supra, p. 227. « MSS. Reg. 15. A. xxxiiL Uber 
J De Divis. Natur. Kb.iiL p. 147.148. oUm 8. Remig. Studio GfartH tcrq^ius. 
" Epist. 101. Labb. Bibl. Nov. Manuscr. p. 66. In 

* See Alcuin. De Sept Artib. p.1256. imitation of the first part of this work, a 
Hononus Augustodunus, de Philosophia Frenchman, Jo. Borteus, wrote NumM 
Mundi, lib. li. cap. 5. And the book Juriscovsulti rr FHiLOLooiiB, Paris, 
of Thomas Cantipratanus attributed to 1651. 4to. 

Boethius, De Disdplina Scholarium. *» Stephan. in Prolcgomen. c. xix. 

Compare BMth. ad Claudian. p. 32. And in the Notes- posshn. Heisad- 

* Berth, ad Briton, p. lia « Medii duced by FUlgentius. 
len scholas tenuit, adolescentibus pne- 



ENGLISH POETRY. 385 

i*6us t Hot even those, who have refined their taste^ and enriched 
their understanding with a complete knowledge of every species 
of literature, by studying attentively this treaUse of Marcianus ^ 
Alexander Necham, a learned abbot of Cirencester, and a vo^ 
luminous Latin writer about the year 1210, wrote annotations 
on Marcianus$ which are yet preserved '^. ^He was first printed 
in the year 1499, and other editions appeared soon afterwards. 
Hiis piece of Marcianus, dictated by the ideal philosophy of 
Plato, is supposed to have led the way to Boethius's celebrated 
Consolation of Philosophy"*. 

The marriage of Sapience and Eloquence, or Mercury 
and Philology, as described by Marcianus, at which Clio and 
Calliope with all their sisters assisted) and fi'om which Discord 
and Sedition, the great enemies of literature, were excluded, 
is artfully introduced, and beautifully contrasted with that of 
Oedipus and Jocasta, which was celebrated by an assemblage 
of the most hideous beipgs. 

Ne was there none of tlie Muses hine,-^ 
By oiie accorde to maken melody : 
For there sung not by heavenly harmony^ 
/ Neyther Clio nor CaliopCj 
None of the sistren in number thrise tlire. 
As they did, when Philolaie'* 
Ascended up hlghe above the skie. 
To be weddedj this lady virtuous^ 
Unto her lord the god Mercurius. — 
But at this weddinge, plainly for to telle^ 
Was CERBERtJS, chiefe porter of hell; 
And Herebus, fader to Hatred, 
Was there present with his holle kindred^ 

* Hist. Fr. lib. z. ad calc. A manu- Hortensio, aut involvere cttm Marciano*** 

script o( Marcianus, mbre than seven Apud Marten, ubi supra, torn. i. p. 506. 

hundred years old, is mentioned by Ber- He wiU occur again. 

nardaPez. Thesaur« Anecdot. torn. iii. ^ Bibl. Bodl. MSS. Digb.221. And 

p. 620.^ But by some writers of the early in other places. As did Scotu& Erigena» 

ages he is censured as obscure. Galfre- Labb. Bibl. Nov. Manuscr. p. 45. And 

Aus Canonicus, who flourished about others of that period. , 

1170, declares, ** Non petimus nos, aut ™ See Mabillon. Itin. Ital. p. 221. 

lascivire cum Stdonio, aut vcrnare cum " Philologia. 

VOL. II. 2 C 



S86 TH£ HISTORY Of 

His WIPE also^ with her browes bhicke^ 
And her daughters, sorow for to make^ 
Hideously chered, and uglie for to see, 
Meoera, and Thesiphonee, 
Alecto eke : with Labour, and Envie, 
Drede, Fraude, and false Tretcherie, 
Treson, Povert, Indioence, and Nede, 
And cruell Death in his rent wedeP : 
Wrstchednesse, Complaint, and eke Rage, 
Fear foil pale, Dronkenesse, croked Age : 
Cruell Mars, and many a tigre woods 
Brenning' Ire, and unkinde Blood, 
Fraternau Hate depe sett in the roote^ 
Sauf only death that there was no boote* : 
Assured othes at fine untrewS 
All the^e folkes were at weddyng new ; 
To make the town desolate and bare. 
As the story after shall declare. ** 

The bare conception of the attendance of this allegorical 
groupe on these incestuous espousals, is highly poetical : and 
iJthough some of the personifications are not presented with 
the addition of any picturesque attributes, yet others are marked 
with the powerfol pencil of Chaucar. 

This poem is the Thebaid of a troubadour. The old clas- 
sical tale of Thebes is here^cloathed with feudal manners, en- 
larged with new fictions of the Gothic species, and fomished 
wi^ the descripticms, circumstances, and machineries, appro- 
priated to a romance of chivalry. The Sphinx is a ten:ible 
dragon, placed by a necromancer to guard a mountain, and to 
murther all travellers passing by^. Tydeus being wounded 
sees a castle on a rock, whose high towers and crested pinnacles 
of polished stone glitter by the light of the moon : he gains ad- 
mittance, is laid in a sumptuous bed of cloth of gold, and healed 
of Ins wounds by a king^s daughter^. Tydeus and Polymite 

* NioHT. ' ganneat. * « Otttfas whibh proved false in the 

* the attendants on Mars, 'burning, end.** ^ Pag. 629. coL 1. 

* '< Death was th^ only refuge, or re- ^ Pag. 627. col. 2. 
medy.*' * PUg. 64a col. 2. seq. 



ENGLISH POETRY. S87 

tilt at midnight for a lodging, before the gate of die palace of 
king Adrastus ; who is awakened with the din of the strokes 
o{ their weapons, which shake all the palace, and descends into 
the court with a long train by torch-light: he orders the two 
combatants' to be disarmed, and cloathed in rich mantles stud- 
ded with pearls j and they are conducted to repose by many a 
stair to a stately tower, after being served witfi a refection ot 
hypocras from golden goblets. The next day they are both 
espoused to the king's two daughters, and entertained with tour- 
naments, feasting, revels, and masques "f. Afterwards Tydeus' 
having a message to deliver to Eteocles king of Thebes, enters 
the hall of the royal palace, completely armed and on horse- 
back, in the midst of a magnificent festival ^. This palace, like a 
Norman fortress, or feudal castle, is guarded with barbicans, port- 
cullisses, chains, and fosses^. Adrastus ¥rishes to close his old 
age in the repose of rural diversions, of hawking and hunting*'. 

The situation of Polymite, benighted in a solitary wilder- 
ness, is thus forcibly described. 

Holding his way, of liert^ nothing Ught, 
Mate^ and weary, till it draweth to night : 
And al the day beDolding envirpwn. 
He neither sawe ne castle, towre, ne town ; 
The which thing greveth him fiill sore, 
And sod^y the see began to rore, 
Winde and tempest hidiously to arise. 
The rain down bet^n in ful grisly wise ; 
That many a beast thereof was adrad. 
And ni^ for fer^ gan to waxe mad, 
As it seemed by the full wofull sownes 
Of tigres, beres, of bores, and of liounes; 
Which to refiite, and himself fpr to save, 
Evrich in haste draweth to his cave. 

y Pag. 6SS. coL 1. seq. Concerning * Pag. 637. col. 2. 
the dresses, perhaps in the masques, we ^ Pag. 644. col. 2. 
have this line, pag. 635, col. 2. ^ Pag. 635. coL 1, 



And the devise of many a solein wede. 

2 C 2 



^ afraid ; fatigued. 



38ft THE HtSTORT OF 

But Polymit^ in this tempest huge 

Alas the whil^ findeth no refiige. 

Ne, him to shrowde, saw no where no succour^ 

Till it was passed almost midnight hour.^' 

When Oedipus consults concerning his kindred the oracle 
of ApoUo, whose image stood on a golden chariot with four 
wheels burned bright and sheen, animated with a fiend, the 
manner in which Be receives his answer is touched with spirit 
and imagination. 

And when Edipus by great devotion 
Finished had fully his orison, 
The fiend anon, within invisible. 
With a voice dredefuU and horrible,. 
Bade him in haste take his^voy^e 
Towrds Thebes, &€.•— — — 

In this poem, exclusive of that general one already men- 
tioned, there are some curious mixtures of manners, and of 
classics and scripture. The nativity of Oedipus at his birth is 
calculated by the most learned astronomers and physicians ^ 
Eteocles defends the walls of Thebes vnih great guns^* And 
the priest^ Amphiorax, or Amphiaraus, is styled a bishop V 
whose wife is also mentioned. At a council held at Thebes, 
concerning the right of succession to die throne, Esdras and 
Solomon are cited : and the history of Nehemiah rebuilding 
the wallis of Jerusalem is introduced'^. The moral intended 
by this calamitous . tale consists in shewing the pernicious ef> 
fects of war : the diabolical nature of which our author still fiur- 
ther illustrates by observing, that discord received its origin in 
hell, ^d that the first batde ever fought was that of Lucifer 
and his legion of vebel angels ^ But that the argument may 
have the fiiUest confirmation, Saint Luke is then quoted to 

* Pag. 631. col.2. * FSag. 626. col. 2. *> As in Chaucer. 

' Pag. 625. col. 1. * Pag. 645. col. 1. 

■ Pag. 644. col. 2. Great and smaU, ^ Pag. 636. col. 1; 

and some as large as tonnes. ' Pag, 660. col. 1.. 



ENGLISH POETHT. dK9 

prove, that avarice, ambition, and efivy, are the primary sources 
of contention ; and that Christ came into the world to destroy 
.the^ malignant principles, and to propagate m^iversal charity. 
At the close of the poem, the mediation of the holy virgin 
is invoked, to procure peace in this life, and salvation in the 
next Yet it should be remembered, that this piece is written 
by a monk, and addressed to pilgrims.™ 



,m 



JaydjgjB^ WAS near fifty when this poem, was written, pag. 622. col. 2. 



390 SHE HISTORY OF 



SECTION XXIII. 



X HE third of Lydgate's poems which I proposed to consider, 
is the Troy boke, or the Destruction of Troy. It was 
first printed at the command of king Henry the Eighth, in the 
year 1513, by Richard Pinson, with this title, "The Hystoey 
SEGE AND DESTRUCCiON OF Troye. T^c table OT rubiisske of 
the content of the chapitreSf &c. Here after foUmeth the Troye 
BOKE, otherwise called the Sege of Troye* Translated by 
John 'LY'DOkT^monkeofBury^ and emprynted at the commaunde" 
ment of our e souveraygne lorde the kynge Henry the Eighth^ by 
Richiurde Pinson, &c the yere of our lorde god a m.ccccc. and 
XIII." ^ Another, and a much mor^ correct edition followed, 
by Thomas Marshe, under the care of one John Braham, in 
the year 1555". It was b^un in the year 1414;, the last year 
of the reign of king Henry the Fourth. It was written at that 

" Among other curious decorations in at and in aU the sayd warres, and di- 

the title page, there are soldiers firing gesteil in Latyn by the learned Guydo 

great guns at the city of Troy. Caxton, de Columpnis, and sythes translated into 

mhis Recotle of thk Htstobtes op Englysbe verse by John Lydgatemoncke 

Trotk, did not translate the account of of Burye and newly imprinted." Tbe 

the final destruction of the city from his colophon, <* Imprinted at London in 

French author Bauol le Feure, '< for as Flete-strete at the sygne oi the Princes 

muche as that worshipfull and religious Armes by Iliomas Marshe. Anno do. 

man Dan John Lydgate monke of Burye 11.D.L.V." Iliis book was modernised, 

did tranaUae U but kSe, after whose werke and printed i n five-lined stanzas, under 

I feare to take upon me,** &c At the the title, << The Life and Death of 

end of B. ii. Hector, &c. written by John Lydgate 

® With this title. <' Th% auncient hi- monk of Berry, &c. At London, printed 

Btorie, and only true and S3mcere croni- by Thomas Puifoot. Anno Dom.1614.** 

de, of the warres betwixte the Grecians fol. But I suspect this to be a second 

and the Troyans, and subsequently of edition. Prindp, ** In Iliessalie kiiu; 

the fyrst evercyon of the auncient and Peleus once did raisne.'* See Farmer^ 

famouse cyte of Troye under Laomedon Essat, p. 39. 40. edit 1767. This spu- 

the king, and of the last and fynall de- rious Tkote-Boke is cited by Fuller, 

structyon of the same under Pryam : Winstanley, and others, as Lydgate's 

wrytten by Daretus a Troyan and Dictus genuine work, 
a Grecian, both souldiours and present- 



ENGLISH POETRV. 591 

prince's command, and is dedicated to his successor. It was 
finished in the year 1420. In the Bodleian library there is a 
manuscript of this poem elegantly illuminated, with the picture 
of a monk presenting a book to a kingP. From the splendour 
of the decoration^ it iqq)ears to be the copy which Lydgate 
gave to Henry the Fifth. 

This poemis professedly a translation or paraphrase of Guido^ 
de Colonna's romanoe, entitled Historia Trojana^. But 
whether from Colonna's original Latin, or from a French ver- 
sion' mentioned in Lydgate's Prologue, and which existed soon 
after the year 1800, I cannot ascertain*. I have before ob- 
served % that Colonna formed his Trojan Histoi^ from Dares 
I^rygius and Dictys Cretensis" ; who perpetually occur as 
authorities in Lydgate's translation. Homer is however re- 
ferred to in this work; particularly in the catalogue^ or enu*- 
meratlon, of the ships which brought the several Grecian 
leaders with their forces to the Trojan coast It b^ins thus, 
on the testimony of Colonna^. 

' MSS. Digb. 282. Guido, of Colonna, a judge.— And al- 

^ Prmdfh « Licet coddie Teten re- thougli a certain Roman, Corndius by 

ooitioribus obruantur. '* name, the nephew of the great SaUustiusy 

' Of a Spanish version, by Petro translated Dares and Dictys into Latin, 

Nimei Degaldo, see Nic. Anton. BibL yet, attempting to be concise, he hm 

■Hispan. torn. iL p. 179. very improperly omitted those particulars 

* See supra, voL L p. 131. Note& Tet of die history, which would have proved 

.he says, having finished hb version, B.V. most agreeable to the reader. In my 

Signat. ££• i. own book therefore every article belong- 

I have no more of Xarffi to transUte, ?«?**? ''^[T? ^%7^^ ^ compre- 

After Dytes, Dares, and GuydoT^ Y?^ 7 n"f *" ^s Postscnnt. "And 

^ , --, J ^ Guido de Colonna have followed the 

Again, he despairs of translating Guido's said Dictys in every particular ; for this 

LaHn elegantiy. B. ii. ex. See also reason, because Dictys made his wofk 

B. iii..Sign. iL {if. Thefe was a French perfect and oomplete in eVery thing.— 

tnmslation of Dares printed, Cadom. And I should have decomted this history 

1579. See Woaks of tux hmAwstXi. with more metopbors and ornaments of 

A. 1703. p. 228. ' style, and by incidental digressbns, 

^ Si^ra, voL u p. 190, Note ^ which a^ the pictures of composition. 

" As C<donna*s book is extreme^ But deterred, by the difficulty of die 

.8auroe,andtlieaulgectintere8ti|ig, Iwill work,** &c Guido has indeed made 

translate a few lines fitMnColonna*s Pino- Dic^ nothing more than the grounds 

logue and Postscript. From the Pko- work of his story. AU this is translated 

logue. « These thii^^oriffinally written in Lydgate*s Ptologue. 

by the Grecian Dictys and the Fhrypan ^ From Diet. Cretens. lib. i. c. xvii.. 

Dues, (who were present in the Trojan^ p. 17. seq. edit Dacer. AmsteL 1702. 

war, and faithful relators of what they 4t0b And Dar. Phryg. cap. xiv. p. 158. 

saw,) aie traosferied into diis book by iHd. There is a very am^ent edition of 



892 THE HISTORY OP 

Myne auctor telleth how Aganiamnon, 

The worthi kjmge, an hundred shippis brought. 

And is closed with these lines, 

Full many shippis was in this navye, 
More than Guido maketh rehersayle, 
Towards Troye with Grek^s for to sayle s 
For as Homer in his discrypcion 
Of Grekes shippes maketh mencion, 
Shortly affyrminge the man was never borne 
That such a nombre of shippes sawe to fome. ' 

In another place Homer, notwithstanding all his rJietorykt 
and sugred eloquenccy his lusty songes and dyiees swete, is blamed 
IU5 a prejudiced writer, who favours tlie Greeks ^ : a censure^ 
which floi?*red fropi the favorite and prevailing notion held by 
the western nations of their descent from the Trojans. Homer 
is also said to paint with colours of gold and azure ^* A me- 
taphor borrowed from the fashionable art of illumining. I do 
not however suppose, that Colonna, who flourished in the mid- 
dle of the thirteenth century, had ever seen Homer's poems: 
he might have known these and many other particular^, con- 
tained in the Iliad, from those factitious historians whom he 
professes to follow. Yet it is not, in the mean time, impossible, 
that Lydgate ^light have seen the Iliad, at least in a Latin 
translation. Leontius Pilatus, already mentioned, one of the 
learned Constantinopolitan exiles, had translated the Iliad into 
Latin prose, with part of the Odyssey, ^t the desire of Bop- 
Dares in quarto, without name or place. Princis. See «upr. And in Chaucer's 
Of pictys at Milan, 1477. 4to. Dares Housk of Fame. Colonna is introduced, 
is in German, with cuts, by Marcus Ta^ among other autliors of the Trojan story, 
tins, August. VindeL 1536. fol. Dictjw, making this objection to Homer*s vera- 
by John Herold, at Basil, 1554. Both cit^. B. iiL p. 46S. col. 1. v. 389. Uit^ 
in Jlussian, at Moscow, 1712. Svo. edit. 

». 11. c XVI. . . . .. -o \^ One saied that Omere madp lies, 

y B. IV. c. xxxi. And m tfie Pro- ^^^ f^. .^ ^.^ ^^) ^^ 

I.OGUE, A^i^l IS censured for foUowing ^„^ was to the GreUs favorable, 

tke traces of HoMERis^yfe, m crther re- ^^^ ^j,^^^^^^ ^^j^ ^^ .^ ^ ^^,; 
spects a true wnter. We have the same 

fomi^nt in our author's Fall of * B. iv, c. xxxi. Signat. X, ii, 



ENGLISH POETRY* 393 

cacio*, about the year 1360. This appears from Petrarch's 
Epistles to his friend Boccacio^ : in which, among other cu« 
rious circumstances, the former requests BoccaciO to send him 
tp Venice that part of Leontius's new Latin version of the 
Odyssey, in which Ulysses's descent into hell, and the vesti-p 
bule of firebus, are described. He wishes also to see, how 
Homer, blind and an Asiatic^ had described the lake of Avemo 
and the mountain of Circe. In another part of these letters^ 
be acknowledges the receipt of the I^atin Homer; and men- 
tions with how much satisfaction and joy the report of its ar« 
rival in the public library at Venice was received, by all the 
Greek and Latin scholars of that city^. The Iliad was also 
translated into French verse^ by Jacques Milet, a licentiate of 
laws, about the year 1430**. Yet I cannot believe that Lyd- 
gate had ever consulted these translations, aldiough he had 
travelled in France and Italy. One may venture to pronounce 
peremptorily, that he did not understand, as be probably never 
had seen, the original. After the migration of the Roman em- 
perors to Greece, Boccacio was the first European that could 
read Homer; nor was there perhaps a copy of either of Ho- 
mer's poems existing in Europe, till about the time the Greeks 
were driven by the Turks from Constantinople®. Long after 
Boccacio's time, the knowledge of the Greek tongue, and con- 
sequeutly of Homer, was confined only to a few scholars. Yet 
some ingenious French critics have insinuated, that Homer 

* It is a slight error in Vigneul Mar- Valla, with some' sb'ght alteration^ in 
ville, that this translation was procured 1497. 

by Petrarch. Mel. Lilt. torn. i. p. 21. * Mem. de Litt xvii. p. 761. ed. 4to, 

The very ingenious and accurate author * See Boccat. Gbnkal. Dkor. xr« 

of Mbmoirks rouR la Vie dePetrarquz, 6. 7. llieodorus archbishop of Canter- 

b mistaken in saying that Hody supposes bury in the seventh century brought 

this version to have been made by Pe- from Rome into En^^land a manuscn^ 

trarch himself, lib. vi. torn. iii. p. 633. of Homer ; which is now said to be in 

On the contrary, Hody has adjusted this Bennet library at Cambridge. See the 

matter with great perspicuity, and from Second Dissertation. In it is written 

the best authorities. De Grjbc. Illustr. with a modem hand. Hie iiber quondam 

lib. i. c. 1. p. 2. seq. Thkodobi arcftie^TMCo^ Cant* But pro- 

** Sbnil. Ub. iii. cap. 5. bably this Theodore is Theodore Ga«a, 

• Hody, ubi supra, p. 5. 6. 7. 9. whose book, or whose transcript, it 
The Latin Iliad in prose was publish- might have been. Hody, ubi supra^ 
ed under the name of Laurentius Lab. i. c 3. p. 59. 60. 



$9i THE HISTORY OF 

«a& fitimKar in France very eariy; and that Christina of Pisa^ 
in a poem never printed, written in the year 1598^ and entitled 
L'Epitee d'Othea a Hectoe^ borrowed the word Othea, 
or Wisdom, from » ^a in Homer, a formal appellation by 
which that poet often invocates Minerva^. 

This poem, is replete with descriptions of rural beauty, formed 
by a selection of very poetical and picturesque circumstances^ 
and doathed in the most perspicuous and musical numbers. 
The colouring of our poet's^ mornings is often remarkaUy 
rich and qilendid. 

When that the rowes'' and the rayes redde 
Eastward to us full early girmen spredde. 
Even at the twylyght in the dawneynge. 
Whan that the larke of custom ginneth synge, 
For to saliie* in her heavenly laye^ 
The lusty goddesse of the morowe graye, 
I meane Aurora, which afore the sunne 
Is wont t^ enchase'^ the blacks skyes dunne, 
And al the darknesse of the dimmy night: 
And fireshe Phebus, with comforte of his light. 
And with the brightnes of his hemes shene^ 
Hath overgylt the hugS hyllSs grene; 
And flour^ eke, agayn the morowe-tide. 
Upon their stalkes gan playn^ their leaves wide.*" 

Again, among more pictures of the same subject 

When Aurora the sylver dropp^s shene, 
Her'teares, had shed upon the fireshe groie ; 
Complaynyng aye^ in weping and in sorowe, 
H^ chyldren's death on every sommer-morowe : 

f In the royal manuscripts of Oie Bri- word in Lydgate. Chancery Kn. T. r. 
tish Museum, this piece is entitled La 597. coL S. Unr. p. 455. 

17 £• iv. 2. '^"^ while the twHight and the rowu red 

« Moii. L'Abbd Sallier, Mem. Litt Of Phebus Mght. 

•▼ii. p. 518. « salute^ k chase. 

^ streaks of light A veiy common i open. "* B« L c. vL 



That is to say^, when the dewe so soote, 
Embawmed hath the floure and eke roote 
With lustie lycoiir in Aprill and in Maye : 
When that the larke, the messenger of daye. 
Of custom aye Aurora doth salue, 
With sundry notes her sorowe to "transmufe.** 

The spring is tiius described, renewing the buds or blossoms 
of the groves, and the flow^js pf the meadows. 

And them whom winter's bLastesliave shaken bare 
/ With sotfe blosomes fresJily to'repare; 
And the mead6ws of many a sundry hewe, 
Tapitid ben with divers flour^s newe 
Of simdry motlessP, histy for to sene ; 
And holsome bahn is shed among the grene. 

Frequently in these florid landscapes we find the same idea 
differently express^. Yet this circumstance, while it weakened 
the description, taught a copiousness of diction, and a variety 
of poetical phraseology. There is great sofhiess and &cility in 
the following delineation of a delicious retreat. 

Tyll at the last, amonge the bow^s glade. 
Of adventure, I caught a plesaimt shade ; 
Ful smothe, and playn, and lusty for to sene, 
And softe a,s velvette was the yong6 grene : 
Where from my hors I did alight as fiist. 
And on a bowe aloft his reyn^ cast. 
So faynte and mate of werynesse I was. 
That I me layd adowne upon tlie gras. 
Upon a brinck^, diortly for to telle^ 
Besyde the river of a cristall welle ; 
And the wat^r, as I rehers^ cam, 
Like quick^sylver in his streames yran, 
Of which the gravell and the bryghtfe stone, 
As any golde, agaynst the sim yshone.*' 

" change. '° B. iii. c« xxmu '^ ^ odours. ** B. ii> cap. zii. 



MS THE HISTORY OF 

Tbt circumstanoe of the pebbles and gravel of a transpaiient 
stream glittering i^ainst tiie sun, which is unconunon, has 
much of the brilliancy of the Italian poetry. It recalls to my 
memory a passage in Tbeoorkus, whidi has been lately ra* 
fto^cfid .to its prisdne beauty. 

EvfOv euawao¥ xgotvat tnro fuccaSi vcr^y 

EK^oiw. — 

They found a perpetual spring, under a high rock^ 
Filled with pure water : but underneath 
The pebbles sparkled as with crystal and silver 
From the bottom.^ - — — f- - ^ 

There is much el^ance of sentiment and expression in the . 
portrait of Creseide weeping when she parts with Troilus. ' 

And from her eyn the teare's round drops tryll. 
That al fordewed |iave her blacks wede; 
And eke untrussd her haire abrode gan sprede> 
Lyke golden wyre, forrent and alto torn. — 
And over this, her freshe and rosey hewe, 
Whylom ymeynt* with whitfe lylyes newe, 
Wyth wofuU wepyng pyteously disteyhd; 
And lyke the herbes in April all berejmd. 
Or fioures freshfe with the dewes swete^ 
Ryght so her chekes moyst^ were and wete.* 

The following verses are worthy of attention in another style 
<J writing, and have great strength and spirit. A knight brings 
a steed to Hector in the midst of the battle* 

And brought to Hector. Sothly there he stoode 
Among the Grekes, al bathed in their bloode : 

* At»0M*vf, IdyU. xxil. v. 37. And aye she rent4 with her fingers 

* mingled. smide 

* B. iii. c. XXV. So again of Polyxena, Her golden heyre upon her hlacke 
B. iT. c. XXX. wede. 



E^NGLISB POETRrV. 907 

The which in haste ful knighdy he bestrode^ 
And them amonge like Mars himselfe he rode. " 

The strokes on the hehnets are &us Expressed, striking fire 
amid the plumes. 

But strokys felle, that men might harden* rynge^ 
On bassenetts, the field^s rounde aboute, 
So cruelly, that the fyrh sprange oute 
Amonge the tuft^s brod^, bright and shene. 
Of fbyle of gold^ of fethers white and grene.^ 

The touches of feudal manners, which our author affords^ 
are innumerable : for the Trojan story, and with no great dif^ 
ficulty, is here entirely accommodated to the ideas of romance.. 
Hardly any adventure of the champions of the round table 
was more chimerical and unmeaning than this of our Grecian 
chiefs : and the cause of their expedition to Troy was quite ia 
the spirit of chivalry^ as it was occasioned by a lady. When 
Jason arriyes at Colchos, he is entertained by king Oetes in a 
Gothic castle. Amadis or Lancelot were never conducted to 
their fairy chambers with more ceremony and solemnity. He 
is led through many a hall and many a tower, by many a stair^ 
to a sumptuous apartment, whose walls, richly painted with the 
histories of antient heroes, glittered with gold and azure. 

Through many a halle, and many a riche toure. 
By many a toume, and many divers waye. 
By many a gree* ymade of marbyll graye.^ — 
And in his chambre', englosed ^ bright and clears 
That shone ful shene with gold and with asure, 
Of many image that ther was in picture. 
He hath commaunded to his o£^cers. 
Only' in h<niour of them that were stiranngers^ * 
Spyces and wync* — — 

• H. lii. c. xxii. Wher the postis war embuHoned witb 
^ B. ii. c. xviiL s^hir's indy blewe 

* Greece, degree, step, stair,, grorfiif. Mnglased glitteringe, &c. 

y Painted ; or r. Englased. Ske Ws . g j^ ^^ ^ ^ Colonna, Signal b. 
Caowifx or Lawrell, p. 24. edit. 1736. 



39B THE HISTORY OF 

The siege of Troy, the grand object of the poem, is not con- 
ducted according to the classical art of war. All the military 
machines, invented and used in the Crusades, are assembled to 
demolish the bulwarks of that city, with the addition of great 
guns. Among other implements of destruction borrowed from 
the holy war, the Greek fire, first dii&overed at Constantinople, 
with which the Saracens so greatly annoyed the Christian ar- 
mies, is thrown firom the walls of the besieged. ^ 

Nor are we only presented in this piece with the habits of 
feudal life, and the practices of chivalry. The poem is en- 
ridied with a midtitude of oriental fictions, and Arabian tra- 
ditions. Medea gives to Jason, when he is going to combat' 
the brazen bulls, and to lull tlie dragon who guarded the golden 
fleece asleep, a marvellous ring; in which was a gem whose 
virtue could destroy the eflScacy of poison, and render the 
wearer invisible. It was the same sort of precious stone, adds 
our author, which Virgil celebrates, and which Venus sent her 
son Eneas that he might enter Carthage unseen. Another of' 
Medea's presents to Jason, to assist him in this perilous at- 
chievement, is a silver image, or talisman, which defeated all 
the powers of incantation, and was fituned according to prin- 
ciples of astronomy ^ The hall of king Priam is illuminated 
at night by a prodigious carbuncle, placed among^ saphires, 
rubies, and pearls, on the crown of a goU^i statue of Jupiter, 
fifteen cubits high^. In tlie court. of the paface, was a tree 
made by magic, whose trunk was twelve cubits high; the 
brandies, which overshadc^ed distant pl^ns, were alternately 
of solid gold said silver^ blosscnned with gems of varioui^ hues, 
which were renewed every day**. Most of these extravagan- 
cies, and a thousand more, are in Guido de ColcHina, who 
lived when this mode of fitbling was at its height* But in the 
fourth book, Dares Phrygius is particularly dted for a descrip* 
tion of Priam's palace, which seemed to be founded by fayri^, 

* B. ii. cxviii. Seesupr. vol. i. p.l69« ^ B, ii. c. xviii. 

In Caxton*s Tbx>t-Book, Hercules is ° B. ii. c. xi. 

said to make ihefre aHifidaU as wcJl as ^ Ibid. 
Cacus, &c. iL 24. 



tlNGLISH POETRY. 399 

or eiH^antment; and was paved with crystal, bnilt of dia- 
monds, saphires, and emeralds, and supported by ivory pil- 
lars, surmounted with golden images ^ Tliis is ndt, however^ 
in Dares. The warriors who came to the assistance of the 
Xrojans, afford to ample field for invention. One of them 
bdongs to a regi(m of forests ; amid the gloom of which wan- 
der many monstrous beasts, not real, but appearances or illu- 
sive images, formed by the deceptions of necrcxnancy, to ter- 
rify the traveller^. King Epistrophus brings from the land 
beyond the Amazons, a thousand knights ; among which is a 
terrible archer, half man and half beast, who neighs like a 
liorse^ whose eyes sparkle like a furnace, and strike dead like 
lightning ^ This is Shakespeare's dreadful sagittaby*. 
The Trojan horse, in the genuine spirit of Arabian philosophy, 
is formed of brass^; of such immense size, as to contain a thou^ 
sand soldiers. 

Colonna, I believe, gave the Trojan story its romantic addi- 
tions. It had long before been Msified by Dictys and Dares ; 
but those writers, misrepresenting or enlarging Homer, only 
invented plain and credible facts. They were the basis of Co- 
kmna : who first filled the faint outlines of their &bulous history 
with the colourings of eastern fancy, and adorned their scanty 
forgeries with the gorgeous trappings of Gothic chivalry. Or, 
as our author expresses himself in his Prologue, speaking of 
Colonna's improvements on his originals. 

For he enlumineth, by crafle and cadence. 
This noble story with many a freshe colouue 
Of rhetorike, and many a ryche floure ' 

Of eloquence, to make it sound the bett ^ 

' Cap. xxvi. ' B. 11. c. xviiL Grecian heroes [B. ii. c xv.] is from 

'' So described by Colonna^ Signat. Dares through Colonna, Daret. Hist, 

n 4. seq. ^ c. xii. p. 156. seq. 

* Ibid. And B. iii. c. xxiv. The Sa- i In Dictys " tabulatis extniitur lig« 
gittary is not in Dictys or Dares. In neis.** lib. v. c. x. p. 113. In Gower he 
whom also, these warriors are but barely is also a hors cf brasse* Conf. Amant. 
named, and are much fewer in number, lib. i. foL xiiii. a. coL 1. From Co- 
See Dar. cap. xviii. p. 161. Diet. lib. ii. lonna, Signat. t 4. Here also are Shake- 
eap. XXXV. p. 51. llie description of the speare*s fabulous namea of the gates of 
persons of Helen, and of the Trojan and Troy. Signat. d 4. seq. ^ ^tter. 



400 THE UlSTOilY OP 

Cloathed with these new inventions, this favourite tale de- 
scended to later times. Yet it appears, not only with these, 
but with an infinite variety of other embellishments, not fiibri*^ 
cated by the fertile genius of Colonna, but adopted irom Frendi 
enlargements of Colonna, and incorporated from romances on 
other subjects, in the French Recuyel of Troy, written by a 
Fr&ich ecclesiastic, Rauol le Feure, about the year 1464, and 
translated by Caxton. ^ 

The description of the city of Troy, as newly built by king 
Priam, is extremely curious ; not for the capricious incredibi- 
lities and absurd inconsistencies which it exhibits"^, but because 
it conveys anecdotes of antient architecture, and especially of 
that florid and improved species, which began to grow fashion- 
able in Lydgate's age. Although much of this is in Colonna. 
He avoids to describe it geometrically, having never read Eu- 
clid. He says that Priam procured, 

■ " ■ ■ ■■ Eche carver, and curious joyner, 
To make knottes with many a queint floure 
To sette on crestes within and eke without— 

That he sent for such as could "grave, groupe, or cane, 
were sotyll in their fantasye, good devysours, marveylous of 
castinge, who could raise a wall with batayling and crestes 
marciall, every imageour in entayle ", and ev^ portreyour who 
could paynt the work with fresh hewes, iiho could puUish ala- 
baster, and make an ymage.'' 

' As for instance^ Hercules haTing given by Dares Fhrygius and I>ictys 

knied the eleven giants of Cremona, Cretensis. 

builds over them a vast tower, on which " It is three days journey in length 

he placed eleven images of metal, of the and breadth. The walls are two hun- 

size and figure of the giants. B. ii. c24. dred cubits high, of marble and alabas- 

ISomething Uk^e this, I think, is in Ama- ter, and machiocolated. At every angle 

dis de GauL Robert Braham, in the was a crown of gold, set with the richest 

£pisu.E TO THK Reader, prefixed to the gems. There were great guns in the 

edition of Lydgate*8 Trot-Book of 1 SSS^ towers. On each turret were figures of 

is of opinion, that the fables in the French savage and monstrous beasts in brasst 

Recuyel ought to be ranked with the The gates were of brass, and each has a 

irifeting tales and barrajpie leurdries of portcullis. The houses were aU unifonn> 

RoBYM HoDE and Bevys of Hampton, and of marble, sixty cubits high, 

and are not to be compared with the " IntagJa. 
faythftd and trexvc reports of this history 



! 



ENGLISH POETRY. 401 

And yf I shulde rehersen by and by. 

The jcorv^ knottes by craft of masonry ; 

The fresh embowing® with verges right as lynes, 

And the housyng full of bachewines, 

The ryche co3myng, the lusty tablem^nts, 

VinettesP running in easements. — 

Nor how they put, insted^ of mort^re, 

In the joyntoures, coper gilt fill clere ; 

To make them joyne by levell and by lyne, 

Amcmg the m^bell freshly for to ^hyne 

Agaynst die suime, whan that his shen^ light 

Smote on the gold^ that was burned bright 

The sides of every street were covered with^r^^A^ alures^ of 
marble, or cloisters, crowned with rich and lofty pinnacles, and 
fronted with tabemacular or open work*", vaulted like the dor- 
mitory of a monastery, and called deambulatories^ for the ac- 
commodation of the citizens in all weathers. 

And every house ycovered was with lead ; 

And many a gargoyle, and many a hideous head, 

With spout^s thorough, &c. — 

And again, of Priam's palace. 

Ai^d the walles, within and eke without, 
Endilong were with knottes graven clere, 
Depeynt with asure, golde, cinople', and grene. — 
And al the wyndowes and eche fenestrall 
Wrought were with beryll' and of dere crystall. 

With regard to the reality of the last circumstance^ we are 

** arching. mentions the ladies standing << upe 
^ vignettes. [upon] the alurs of the castle,*' to see a 
^ Allies, or covert-ways. Lat. Jlura, |oumament. See supr. vol. K p. 54. 
viz. ** Alura qu8B dudt a coquina con- The word jilura is not in Du Cange. 
ventus, usque ad cameram prions.'* *' Like the latticed stone-work, or 
Hearne*8 Ottxrb. Prae£r Append p. cxi. canedU^ of a Gothic shrine. 
Where Heame derives.it fhxn Ala, a . * Said to have been invented by Mar- 
wing, or side. Rather ft:0m^^2ar,vehence chion of Arezzo. Walpole, ANi;cD. 
A11&, Fr. Alley, Rdbei^ of Gloucester Paint, i. p. Ul. 

VOL. II. 2d 



402 THE HISTORY OF 

told, that in Studley castle in Sbropshire, the windows^ so late 
as the reign of Elizabeth, were of beryl. 

The account of the Trojan theattre must not be omitt^, as it 
displays the imperfect ide^ of the stage, at least of dramatic 
exhibition, which now prevailed; or rather, the absolute in- 
existence of this sort of spectacle. , Our author supposes, that 
comedies and tragedies were first represented at Troy ^ He 
defines a comedy to begin with complaint and to end n^th glad-- 
nesse : expressing the actions of those only who live in the lowest 
condition. But tragedy, he informs us, begins in prosperity, 
and ends in adversity : shewing the wonderfiil vicissitudes of 
fortune which have happened in the lives of kings and. mighty 
conquerours. In the theatre of Troy, he adds, was a pulpit, 
in which stood a poet, who rehearsed the noble dedes that *mere 
historial ofkynges^ prynces^ and worthy emperours ; and, above 
all, related those fatal and sudden catastrophes, which they 
sometimes suffered by murther, poison, conspiracy, or other 
secret and unforeseen machinations. 

And this was tolde and redde by the poete. 
And while that he in the pulpet stode 
With deadlye facfe all devoyd of Uode, 
Syngynge his dites with tresses al to rent; 
Amydde the theatre, shrowded in a tent. 
There came out men, gastfiill of their cheres, 
Disfygured their faces with vyseres, 
Playing by sign^ in the people's syght 
That the poete songe hathe on height" : 
So that there was no maner discourdaunce, 
Atween his ditees and their countenaunce. 

'^ Harrison's Desckikt. Brit. Cap. bowyers, fletchers, makers of trappings, 

xii. p. 188. The occupations of the dti^ banners, standards, penons, and fir the 

^ens of Troy are mentioned. There feldefreshe and gaye getoubs. I do not 

were goldsmi^, jewellers, embroidermrs, precisely nnder^md the last word. Per- 

weavers of woollen and linen, of clotb, haps it is a sort of ornamented armour 

of g(^d, damjEisk, sattin, Telvet, sendd, or for the legs. 

a thin silk like cypress, and double ta* All that follows on lids subject, is 

fFi^fe, or satin. Smitiis, who forged poll- not in Colonna. 

axes, spears, and quarrd-heads, or cross* " " That vrkaeb the poet siing» stand* 

bow darts shaped square. Armouro^ ing in the pulpit*** 



ENGLISH POETRY. 403 

For lyke as he aloAh dyd expresse * 

Wordes of joyfe or of hevinesse^ — 

So craftely they' could them ^ transfygure.^ 

It is added, that these plays, or tytes of tragedies old, were 
acted at Troy, and in the theatre halawed andyholde, when the 
months of April and May returned. 

In this detail of the dramatic exhibition which prevailed in 
the ideal theatre of Troy, a poet, placed on the stage in a pulpit, 
and characteristically habited, is said to have recited a series of 
tragical adventures ; whose pathetic narrative was afterwards 
expressed, by the dumb gesticulations of a set of masqued ac- 
tors. Some perhaps may be inclined to think, that this imper- 
fect species of theatric representation, was the rude drama of 
Lydgate's age. But surely Lydgate would not have described 
at all, much less in a long and laboured digression, a public 
shew, which from its nature was familiar and notorious. On 
the contrary, he describes it as a thing obsolete, and existing 
only in remote times. Had a more perfect and legitimate stage 
now subsisted, he would not have deviated from his subject, to 
communicate unnecessary information, and to deliver such mi- 
nute definitions of tragedy and comedy. On the whole, this 
formal history of a theatre, conveys nothing more than an af-' 
fected display jOf Lydgate^s learning; and is collected, yet with 
apparent inaccuracy and confusion of circumstances, from what 
the antient grammarians have left concerning the origin of the 
Greek tragedy. Or perhaps it might be borrowed by our au- 
thor from some French paraphrastic version of Colonna's Latin 
romance y. 

Among the antient authors, beside those already mentioned, 
cited in this poem, are Lollius for the histoyy of Troy, Ovid 
for the tale of Medea and J^son, Ulysses and Polj'phemus, the 
Myrmidons and other stories, Statins for Polynices and Eteo- 
cles, the venerable Bede, Fulgentius the mythologist, Justinian 

* tlie aoton. ^ themselves. ^ Colonna calls him, ilk fabulabius 

* lib. ii. cap. x. See also, B. iii. c. Sulm(niensis,'-fabulose commentanSf &c. 
xvniL Signat b. 2. 

2d2 



404 THfi ItlSTORY OF 

With whose institutes Colonna as a civilian must have been well 
acquainted, Pliny, and Jacobus de Vitriaco. The last is pro- 
duced to prove, that Philometer, a &mous philosopher, in- 
vented the game of chess, to divert a tyrant frpm his cruel pur- 
poses, in Chaldea ; and that from thence it was imported into 
Greece. But Colonna, or rather Lydgate, is of a different 
opinion; and contends, in opposition to his authority, that this 
game, so sotyll and so marvayloiiSj was dbcovered by prudent 
clerJces during the siege of Troy, and first practised in that cily. 
Jacobus de Vitriaco was a canon regular at Paris, and, among 
other dignities in the church, bishop of Ptolemais in Palestine, 
about the year 1230. This tradition of the invention of chess 
is mentioned by Jacobus de Vitriaco in his Oriental and 
Occidental History 2. The anecdote of Philometer is, I 
think, in Egidius Romanus on this subject, above mentioned. 
Chaucer calls Athalus, that is Attains Philometer, the same 
person, and who is often mentioned in Pliny, the inventor of 
chess". , 

I nmst not pass over an instance of Lydgate's gallantry, as 
it is the gallantry of a monk. Colonna takes all opportunities 
of satirising the fair sex; and Lydgate with great politeness 
declares himself absolutely unwilling to translate those passages 
of this severe moralist, which contain such unjust and illiberal 
misrepresentations of the female character. Instead of which, 
to obviate these injurious reflections, our translator enters upon 
a formal vindication of the ladies ; not by a panegyric on their 
beauty, nor encomiums on those amiable accomplishments, by 
which they refine our sensibilities, and give elegance to life ; 
but by a display of that reUgious fortitude with which some 
women have sufiered martyrdom ; or of that inflexible chastity, 
by means of whifch others have been snatched up alive into 
heaven, in a state of genuine virginity. Among other striking 
examples which the calei^^r aflbrds, he mentions the transcen- 
dent grace of the eleven thousand virgins who were martyred 
at Col(^e in Germany. In the mean time, female saints, as 

' in three books. * Drsmk, p. 408. col. 2. edit Urr. 



ENGLISH POETRY. 405 

1 suspect, in the barbarous ages were regarded with a greater 
d^ree of respect, on account of those exaggerated ideas of gal- 
lantry which chivalry inspired: and it is not improbable that 
the distinguished honours paid to the virgin Mary might hav^ 
partly proceeded from this principle. 

' Among the anachronistic improprieties which this poem con- 
tains, some of which have been pointed out, the most conspi- 
cuous is the fiction of Hector's sepulchre, or tomb : which also 
mmts our attention for another reason, as it affords us an op- 
portimity (Padding some other notices of the modes of antient 
architecture to those akeady mentioned. The poet from Co- 
lonna supposes, that Hector was buried in the principal church 
of Troy, near the high altar, within a magnificent oratory, 
erected for that purpose, exactly resembling the Gothic shrines 
of our cathedrals, yet charged with many romantic decorations. 

With crafty archys raysyd wonder clene, 
Embowed over all the work to cure. 
So marveylous was the celature : 
That al the rofe, and closure envyrowne, 
Was of ** fyne gold^ plated up and downe, 
With knott^s gravfe wonder curyous 
Fret ful of stonys rich and precious, &c. 

The structure is supported by angels of gold. The'steps are 
of crystall. Within, is not only an image of Hector in solid 
gold ; but his body embalmed, and exhibited to view with the 
resemblance of real life, by means of a precious liquor circu- 
lating through every part in golden tubes artificially disposed, 
and operating on the principles of vegetation. This is from 
the chemistry of the times. Before the body were four inex- 
tinguishable lamps in golden sockets. To complete the work, 
Priam founds a regular chantry of priests, whom he accom- 
modates with mansions near the church, and endows with re- 
venues, to sing in this oratory for the soul of his son Hector ^. 

* with. tomb of Hector, in his brilliant descrip- 

^ B. iii. c. zxviii. Joseph of Exeter tion of the mausoleum of Teuthras. lib. 

in his Latin poem entitled Antiocheis^ iv. 451. I have quoted the passage ii^ 

or the Causadz, has borrowed from this tlie Second Dissertation. 



406 



TH£ lilSTORY OF 



In the Bodleian library, diere is a prodigious folio manu- 
script on vellum, a translation of ColcHma's Tro jak Historv 
into verse ^ ; which has been confounded with Lydgate's Trot&- 
BoKE now before us. But it is an entirely difieroit work, and^ 
is written in the short minstrel-metre* I have given a specim^ 
of the Prologue above ^ It q)pears to me to be Lydgate's 
Troye-Boke divested of the octave stanza, and reduced into 
a measure which might more commodiously be sung to the 
harp^ It is not likely that Lydgate is its author: ^t he 
should ^ther thus transform his own composition, or write a 



MSS. Laud. K. 76. foL 

^ Supr. voL i. p. 123. 

f It may, however, be thought, that 
this poem is rather a translatioii or mu- 
tation of some French original* as the 
writer often refers to The Romance, If 
this be the case, it is not immediately 
formed from the Taote-bokx of Lydgate, 
as I have suggested in the text. I be- 
lieve it to be about Lydgate's age ; but 
there is no other authority for supposing 
it to be written by Lyd^te, than that,' 
in the beginning of the Bodleian manu- 
script now before us, a hand-writing, of 
about the reign of James the First, assigns 
it to that poet. I will give a few lines 
from the poem itself': which begins with 
Jason's expedition to Colchos, the con- 
stant prelude to the Trojan story in all 
the writers of this schooL . 

In Colkos ile a cite was. 
That men called hanne Jaconitas ; 
Ffair, and mekel*, large, and long. 
With walles huge and wondir strong, 
Fful of toures, and heye paleis. 
Off rich knyztes, and burgeis : 
A kyng that tyme hete* Setes i 

Gouemed than that lond in pes', 
With his baronage, and his meyn^, 
Dwelleden thanne in that dt^ : 
Ffor al aboute that riche toun 
Stode wodes, and parkis, enviroun. 
That were replenysched wonderful 
Of herte, and hynd, bore, and bul. 
And othir many savage bestis. 
Betwixt that wode and that forestis. 
Ther was large contray and plajrn, 
Ffaire wodes, and champayn 



Ffbl of semely-rennyng welles, 
As the BOMAUNCK the sothe* telles, 
Withoute the cite that ther sprong. 
Ther was of briddes micfael song, 
Thorow al the xer* and michel cry. 
Of al joyes gret melody. 
To that cit^ [of 1 Eetes 
Zode* Jason and Hercules, 
And al the ilelawes that he hadde 
In clothe of golde as kynges he cladde, 
&c. 

Afterwards, the sorceress Medea, the 
king's danghter, is thus characterised. 

Sche couthe the science of clergy, 
And modiel <^ nignunauncy.— 
Sche coude with conjurisouns. 
With here schleyght% and oresouns, 
The day, diat was most fair and lyght. 
Make as darke as any nyght : 
Sche couthe also, in selcouthe wise. 
Make the wynde both blowe and lise^ 
And make him so loude blowe. 
As it schold bowses ovothrowe. 
Sche couth tume, verament. 
All weders", and the firmament, ice 

The reader, in some of these lines, 
observes the appeal to The romance for 
authority, lliis is common throughout 
the poem, as I have hinted. But at the 
close, the poet wishes eternal salvation to 
the soul of the author of the Momaunoe. 

And he that this romaunce wroght and 

made. 
Lord in heven thow him glkde. 

If this piece is translated from a French 
romance, it is not from the antient me- 
trical one of Benoit, to whom, I beEeve, 



'great. 
* year. 



*hight, named, 
'came. 



peace. 



^ deight, art. * 



* truth. 

wfOwfiet's, 



ENGLISH POETRY. 407 

new piece on the subject That it was a poem in some consi- 
derable estimation, appears from die size and, splendour of the 
manuscript: and this ckcumstance induces me to believe, that 
it wasataveryeariy period ascribed to Lydgate. On theother 
hand, it is extraordinary that the name of the writer of so prolix 
and laborious a work, respectable and conspicuous at least on 
aocoimt of its length, ^buld have never transpired. The lan- 
guage accords with Lydgate's age^ and is of the reign of Henry 
itke Sixth : and to the same age I refer the hand-writing, which 
IS accented with remarkaUe degance and beauty. 

Colonna is much indebted ; but perhaps Dares the heraud is Dares FhrygiuSi and 

firom some later flrendi romaaoe, which Viies Dictys Cretensis. 
coined, or translated, Colonna*s book. This poem, in the Bodleian manu- 

This, among other circumstances, we script aforesaid, is fin ished, as I hare 

may coUect ntMB these lines. partly observed, with an invocation to 

Dares the heraud of Troye says, God, to save the au&or, and the readers, 

AndDite8thatwa8oftheGiegei8,&c or hearers ; and ends with this hne. 
And »fter him comcth tnnster Gr, Seythe alle Amen for charite. 

That was of Rome a notary. But this rubric immediately follows, at 

This nuUster Gv, or Guy, that is Guido ^^ beginmng of a page : « Ific bdtum 

of Colonna, he adds, wrote this histoiy, (k Tr^effimt^ Greet traimerunt versus 

T u 11 ji^ jKttriam suam. Then follow several 

in Uie mtmere I schaU teUe. Kneated pages of vellum, without writ- 

That is ^*my author, or romance, fol- ing. I have never seen any other nuu 

lows Colonna." See supr. vol. i. p. 129. nuscript of this piece. 



40fr THE HISTORY OF 



SECTION XXIV. 



X wo more poets retnain to be mentimied under the reign of 
Henry the Sixth, if mere translation merit that appdlatiiHU 
These are Hugh Campeden and Thomas Chester.. 

The first was a great traveller, and translated into Ei^lish 
verse the French romance of Sidrac ^. This trandation, a book 
of uncommon rarity, was printed with the following tide, at die 
expence of Robert Saltwood, a monk of saint Austin's convent 
at Canterbury, in the year 1510. " The Historic of king Boo 
cus and Sydracke how he confoundyd his lemed men, and 
in the sight of them dronke stronge venyme in the name of the 
trinite and dyd him no hurt. Also his divynite that he lemed 
of the boke of Noe. Also his profesyes that he had by revela- 
tion of the angel. Also his aunsweris to the questyons of wys- 
dom both morall and naturall with muche wysdom contayned 
in [the] noumber cccLXV. Translated by Hugo of Camnpeden 
out of French into Englisshe," &c. *» There is no sort of ele- 
gance in the diction, nor harmony in the versification. It is 
in the minstrel-metre. ^ 

* See supr. vol. i. p. 147. The kynge BocbKs hym be thought 
*> With a wooden cut of Bocchus, and That he would have a citee wroi^^t 

Sidracke. There is a fine manuscript of The rede Jewes fro hym spere 

this translation, Bibl. BodL MSS. Laud, And for to mayntene his were 

G. 57. pergam. A yenst a kyng that was hys foo 

* MS. Laud- G. 57. Princip. Andhathmosteof Indelongyngbymloo 
Men may fynde in olde bookes His name was Garaab the Kyng 
Who soo yat in them lookes Bocdius tho proved all this thing 
That men may mooche here And smartly a towre b^^nne he 
And yerefore yff yat yee wolle lere. There he wolde make \as dtee 

I shall teche yoowe a lytill jeste And it was right at the incomyng 

That befell oonys in the este Of Garabys londe the kyng 

There was a kynge that Boctus hy^ht The masons with grete laboure 

And was a man of mooche myght Beganne to woriie uppon the toure 

His londe lay be grete Inde And all that they wroghten on day 

Bectorye hight hit as we fyndc On night was hit done away 

After the tyme of Noee even On mom when Bochus hit herde 

VIIJ^^ hundred yore fourty and seven Hee was wroth that hit so ferde 



ENGLISH POETRY* 



409 



Thomas Chestre appears also to have been a writer for the 
minstrels. No anecdote of his life is preserved. He has left 
a poem entitled Sir Launfal, one of Arthur's knights: who 
is celebrated widi other champions in a set of French metrical 
tales or romances, written by some Armorican bard, mider the 
name of Lanval K They are in the British Museum. * 



And dyd hyt aU new besynne 
At even whan they shula bl3rnne 
Off worke when they went to reste 
In the night was all downe Heste 
Well vii monthes this thei wrought 
And in the night avaylid yt nought 
Boccus was wroth wonderly 
And callid his folke that was hym by 
Councellith me lordinses seyde hee 
Howe I may beste make this dtee 
They sayde sir sendith a noon 
Aftir your philosophers everychon 
And Uie astronomers of your londe 
Of hem shall yee counsoU fonde. 

Afterwards king Tractabare is requested 
to send 



thebooke of astronomye 



That whilom Noe had in baylye, 

together with his astronomer Sidracke. 

At the end. 

And that Hugh of Campedene 
That this boke hath thorogh soght 
And untoo Englyssh ryme hit brought. 

Sidrake, who is a Christian, at length 
builds the tower in Nomine S, Trinitatis, 
and he teaches Bocchus, who is an ido- 
later, many articles of true religion. 
The only manuscript I have seen of this 
translation is among MSS. Laud. G. 57. 
foL utisupr* 

^ It begins thus. 

, Launfal Miles. 

Be doughty Artours dawes 
That held Engelond yn good lawes, 
Ther fell a wondyr cas. 
Of a 1^* that was ysette, 
That hyght LAumrAL and hatte yette. 

Now herkeneth how hyt wiks^ 
Doughty Artour som whyle 
Sojournede yn Kardevyle', 
Wyth joye and greet solas, 



And knyghtes that wer jHofitable^ 

With Artour of the rounde table. 

Never noon better ther was. 

Sere Persevall, and syr Gawayn, 

Syr Gyheryes, and syr Agrafrayn, 

And Launcelot du Lake, 

Syr Kay, and syr Ewayn, 

lliat well couthe fyghte yn plain, 

Bateles for to take. 

Kyng Ban Booght, and kyng Bos^ 

Of fa«m ther was a greet los. 

Men sawe tho no wher' her make% 

Syr Galafire, and syr IjAvvwalm, 

Whereof a noble tale 

Among us schall a-wake. 

With Artour ther was a bacheler 
And hadde y-be well many a yer, 
Launfal for soht' he hyght, 
He gaf gyftys largelyche 
Gold and sylver and clodes ryche, 
To squyer and to knyght. 
For hys largesse and hys bountd 
The kynges stuward miade was he 
Ten yer y you plyght. 
Of aUe the knyghtes of the table rounde 
So large ther was noyn y-founde. 
Be dayes ne be nyght. 

So hyt befyU yn the tenthe yer 
Marlyn was Artours counsalere. 
He radde hym for to wende 
To kyng Ryon of Irlond ryght. 
And fette lum ther a lady bryght 
Gwennere hys doughtyr hende, &c 

In the conclusion. 

Thomas Chestre made th3rs tale 
Of the noble knyght syr Laim£ede 
Good of chyvalrye : 
Jhesus that ys hevene kyng 
Yeve us alle hys blessyng 
And hys modyr Marye. 

Explicit Laukfauc 

Never printed. MSS. Cotton. Calio. 
A. 2. f. 33. I am obliged to doctor 



liege, [lay.] » or, Kerdevyle. f. Cacrlislc. » ther, < match. » ootb. 



410 TUEHI6T0RYOF 

I think I liare seen some evidenee to prove, tiiat Qiegtre 
was also the author a[ the metrical romance called the Erle 
OF Tholouax"^. This is one of the romances called hAis by 
the poete of Britanj, or Annorica : as appears from tiiese lines, 

In romance this gest 

A Ley" of Britayn callyd I wys, &c. 

And ihat it is a translation, appears from the rdference to an 
original, " The Itomans telleth so." I will however give the 
oudines of the story, which is not uninteresting, nor inartificially 
constructed* 

Dioclesian, a powerful emperour in Germany, has a rupture 
with Barnard earl of Tholouse, concerning boundaries of ter« 
ritory. Contrary to the repeated persuasions of the empress, 
who is extremely beautiful, and famous for her conjugal fidelity, 
he meets the earl, with a numerous army, in a pitched battl^ 
to decide the quarrel. The earl is victorious, and carries home 
a great multdtude of [urisoners, the most respectable of which 
is sir Tralabas of Turky, whom he treats as his companion* lb 
the midst of their festivities they talk of the beauties of the em- 
press ; the earl's curiosity is inflamed to see so matchless a 
lady, and he promises liberty to sir Tralabas, if he can be con- 
ducted unknofni to the emperour's court, and obtain a sight of 
her without discovery. They both set forward, the earl dis- 
guised like a hermit When they arrive at the en^rour's 
court, sir Tralabas proves felse: treacherously imparts the secret 

Percy tor this transcript It was a£ter- ' Lefe frendys I dudl you teUe 

wards altered into the rtunance of sir Of a tale that sometyme befell 

Lambwell. [This Romance forms a part Far in unkouthe lande^ 

of Mr. Rit8on*s collection, from whose Howe a lady had grele myschefe, &c. 

transcript Ae text has been corrected. 

UnderthetitleofSirLambweUitoccare [A copy from the Camb. Ma has 

in bishop Percy's folio MS Edit.] 8>°ce been published by Mr. Ritson. 

> MSS. Harl. 978. 112. fol. i. 154. In ofthoeraphy U varies considerMJy 

u T?« n^^^i^ v^^^^* T A wT.T« A r »» ^'o™ ^« Ashmole MS., and is evidently 
« En Bi^tams 1 apelent Launval. ^^ ^ ^^^ date.-E«T.] 

See a Bot« at the be^nmg of Diss. i. » Perhaps ky in the fouith line of sv 

" Never printed. MSS. Ashmol. Laukfal may mean Lay in this sense. 

Oxon. 45. 4to. 16926. ] And MS& More. See note at the beginnii^ of the First 

Camb. 27. Princ^. Dissertation. [See Note A. at the end 

Jesu Crist in trinite, of the Section.] 

Only -god in iMcsOns ttoi ice 



ENGLISH POETRY. 411 

to the empress that he has brought with him the eari of Tho^ 
louse in disguise, who is enamoured of her celebrated beauty; 
and proposes to take advantage of so &ir an opportunity of 
killing the emperour's great and avowed ^lemy. She rejects 
the proposal with indignation, injoyns the knight not to com- 
municate the secret any fiuther, and desires to see the earl next 
day in the chapel at mass. The next day the earl in his hermif 5 
weeds is conveniently placed at mass. At leaving die chapd, 
he asks an ahns of the empress ;- and she gives him forty Aorias 
and aring. He receives the present of the ring with the highest 
satisfaction, and although obl^ed to return home, in point of 
prudence, and to. avoid detection, comforts himself with this 
r^ection. 

Wdl Is me, I have thy grace, 
Of the to have thys thyng ! 
If ever I have grace of the. 
That any love betweene m be^ 
This may be a Tokenyng. 

He then returns home. The emperour is called into some 
distant country ; and leaves his consort in the custody of two 
knights, who att^npting to gain her love without success, conr 
trive a stratagem to defame her chastity. She is thrown into 
prison, and the emperour returns unexpectedly^, in consequence 
of a vision. The t^le of the two treacherous knights is believed, 
and she is sentenced to the flames : yet under the restriction, 
that if a champion can be found who shall foil the two knights 
in battle, her honour shall be cleared, and her life saved. A 
challehge is publi^ed in all parts of the w(N*ld; and the earl 
of Hiolouse, notwithstanding the animosities which sdll subsist 
between him and tjie emperour, privately undertakes her 
quarrel. He {^pears at the emperour's court in the habit of 

® The emperour's disappointment is How farys that byrd so bryght? 

thus described. The traytors answeryd anon. 

Anon to the chamber went he, And ye wist how she had done, &c. — 

He longyd sore his wyf to se, The yonge knyght sir Artour, 

That was «o swete a wyght : That was her hervouc, &c 

He callyd theym that shulde her kepe, For bale his arrays abrode he sprede, 

Where is my wif is she on ?jlepe ? And fell in swoonc on his bed. 



412 THE HISTORY OF 

a monk, and obtains permission to act as oonfessor to the enth 
press, in her present critical situation* In the course of the 
confession, she protests that she was always true to the em- 
perour ; yet owns that once she gave a ring to the earl of Tho- 
louse. The supposed confessor pronounces her innocent of the 
enlarge brought against her; on which one of the traiterous 
knights affirms, that the monk was suborned to publish this 
confession, and that he deserved to be consumed in the same 
fire which was prepared for the lady. The monk pretending 
that the honour of his religion and character was affected by 
this insinuation, challenges both the knights to combat : they 
are conquered; and the empress, after this trial, is declared 
innocent. He then openly discovers himself to be the earl 
of Tholouse, the emperour's antient enemy. A solemn recon- 
ciliation ensues. The earl is appointed seneschal of the em- 
perour's domain. The emperour lives only three years, and 
the earl is married to the empress. 

In the execution of this performance, our author was obliged 
to be concise, as the poem was intended to be sung to the harp. 
Yet, when he breaks through this restraint, instead of dwelling 
on some of the beautiful situations which the story affords, he 
is diffuse in displaying trivial and unimportant circumstances. 
These popular poets are nevey so happy, as when they are de- 
scribing a batde or a feast. 

It will not perhaps be deemed impertinent to observe that 
about this period the minstrels were often more amply paid than 
the clergy. In this age, as in more enlightened times, the peo- 
ple loved better to be pleased than instructed. During many 
of the years of the reign of Henry the Sixth, particularly in 
the year 14j30, at the annual feast of the fraternity of the Holie 
Crosse at Abingdon, a town in Berkshire, twelve priests each 
received four pence for singing a dirge : and the same number 
of minstrels were rewarded each with two shillings and four 
pence, beside diet and horse-meat Some of these minstrels 
came only from Maydenhithe, or Maidenhead, a town at no 
great distance in the same county^. In the year 14j4jI, eight 

** Kearneys Lib. Nig. Scacc. ArrDKo. p. 598. 



SNGLISH POETItV. 4151 

priests were hired from Coventry to assist in celebrating a yearly 
obit in the church of the neighbouring priory of Maxtoke ; ss 
were six minstrels, called mimi, belonging to the family of lord 
Clinton, who lived in the adjoining castle of Maxtoke, to sing, 
harp, and play, in the hall of the monastery, during the extra-- 
ordinary refection allowed to the monks on that anniversary. 
• Two shillings were given to the priests, and four to the min- 
strels ^ : and the latter are said to have supped in camera pidaj 
or the painted chamber of the convent, with the subprior% on 
which occasion the chamberlain fui^ished eight massy tapers 
of wax '. That the gratuities allowed to priests, even if learned, 
for their labours, in the same age of devotion, were extremely 
slender, may be collected jfrom other expences of this priory ^ 
In the same year, the prior gives only sixpence " for a sermon, 
to a DOCTOR PR^DicANS, or an itinerant doctor in theology of 
one of the mendicant orders, who went about preaching to the 
religious houses. 

We are now arrived at the reign of king Edward the Fourth, 
who acceded to the throne in the year 1461 ^. But before I 
proceed in my series, I will employ the remainder of this section 
in fixing the reader's attention on an important circumstance, 
now operating in its fiill extent, and therefore purposely re- 
served for this period, which greatly contributed to the improve- 
ment of our literature, and consequently of our poetry : I mean 
the many translations of Latin books, especially classics, which 
the French had been making for about the two last centuries, 
and were still continuing to make, into their own lai*guage. In 

** Ex Computis Prioris Priorat. de tioning, that a metrical ZHa/o^ue&^hofi^ 

Mantock. penes me. [See supr. vol. i. God and the penitent Soid, belonging to 

p. 93-94. ] " Dat. sex Mimisdoroini Clyn- the preceding reign, is preserved at Caius 

toncantantibus,citharisantibus,etluden- college, Cambridge. Pr, "Our gracious 

tibus, in aula in dicta Pietantia, iiu.s.** lord prince of pite.*' MSS. £. 147. 6. 

' ** Mimis cenantibus in camera picta With other pieces of the kind. The wri- 

cum suppriore eodem tempore,'* [the mm ter, William Lichfield, a doctor in«theo- 

4)bliterated.'\ ^^gy> shone most in prose; and is said 

' £x comp. Camerarii, ut supr. to have written, with bis own hand, S08S 

^ £x comp. predict. English sermons. See T. Gasooign^ 

** Worth about five shillings of our (MS.) Diction. V. Prjbdicatok. He 

present money. died 1447. See Stowe, Load. 251. 986. 

^ I know not whether it is worth men- Newcourt, i. 8 1 9. 



414 THE UlSTOKY OF 

ord^ to do this more ^ectuaUy, I wOl eoDect into one view 
the most distinguished of these yersk)DS : not scdidtoiiis about 
those notices on this subject which have before occurred inci- 1 
dentally; nor scrupulous about the charge of anticipation, whidi, 
to prepare the reader, I shall perhaps incur by lengdiening 
this inquiry, for the sake of comprehension, beyond the limits 
of the period just assigned* In the mean time it may be per- 
tinent to premise, that fix>m the dose communication which 
formerly subsisted between England and France, manuscript 
copies of many of these translations, elegantly written, and often 
embellished with the most splendid illuminations and curious 
miniatures, were presented by the translators or their patrcms 
to the kings of England ; and that they accordingly appear at 
present among the royal manuscripts in tiie British Museum. 
Some of these, however, were transcribed, if not translated, by 
command of our kings ; and others brought into England, and 
placed in the royal library, by John duke of Bedford, regent 
of France. 

It is not consistent with my design, to enumerate the Latin 
legends, rituals, monastic rules, chronicles, and historical pdrts 
of the Bible, such as the Book of Kings and the Maccabses, 
which were looked upon as stories of chivalry', translated by 
die French before the year 1200. These soon became obsolete: 
and are, besides, too deeply tinctured with the deplorable su- 
perstition and barbarity of their age, to bear a recital ^. I will 
therefore begin with the thirteenth century. In the year 1210) 
Peter Cotnestor's' Historia Scholastica, a sort of breviary 
of the old and new testament, accompanied with elaborate ex- 
positions from Josephus and many pagan writers, a work com- 
piled at Paris about the year 1 1 75, and so popular, as not only to 
be taught in schools, but even to be publicly read in the churches 

' As << Pluaeurs Battailes des Rojb tiairk, a set of metrical fables, finom the 

d' Israel en contre les Philistieiis et As* Latin Esop. These, however, ought to 

sjriens," &c Brit. Mus. MSS. Reg. 19 be looked npon as efforts of tbeir early 

D. 1. 7. poetry, rather than translations. 

y I must however except their Lafi- * Or Xe Mangewr, because he devoured 

DAUia, a poem on precious stones, from the Scriptures, 
the Latin of Marbodeus ; and the Bks- 



ENGLISH POETRY. 415 

with its glosses^ was translate^ into F^encb by Guiast de» Mou« 
lins, a canon of Aire^. About the same tune^ seme of the old 
tran$lati<M>s into French made in the ^yenth century by Thi- 
baud de Vernon, camm of Bouen^ were retouched : and the 
Latinl^ends of many lives of saints^ particularly of saint George, 
of Thomas a Beckett, and the mar^rdom of saint Hugh, 
a child murthered in 1206 by a Jew at Lincoln^, were reduced 
into French verse. These pieces, to which I must add a me- 
trical version of the biUe from Genesis to Hezekiah, by bdng 
written in rhyme, and easy to be sung, socm became popular,, 
and produced the desired impression on the minds of the peo- 
ple^. They were soon followed by the version of -3Egidius db 
Regimine Pbincipum*, by Henri de Gauchi. Bares Phry- 
gius. The Seven Sages of Rome by Herbers*, Eutropius^^ 
and Aristotle's Secretum Secretorum^, appe^ed about the 
same time in French. To say nothing of voluminous versions 
of Pandects and feudal Coutumes\ Michad de Hames tran&4 
kted Turpin's Charlemagne in the year 1207 K It was into 
prose, in opposition to the practice which had long prevailed 
of turning Latin prose into French rhymes. This piece, in 
i^ompliance with an age addicted to romantic fiction, our trans^ 
lator undoubtedly preferred to the more rational and sober La^ 
tin historians of Charlemagne and of France, such as Gr^c^ry 
of Tours, Fred^aire, and Eginhart In the year 1245, Hie 

* The French was first published^ ° It is rather beside my purpose to 

without date or place, in two tomes^ speak particularly of some 6f the dirin* 

With old wood-cuts. Vossius says that Offices now made French, and of the 

the original was abridged by Gualter church-hymns. 

Hunte^ an English Carmelite, about the ^ See modo supr. p. 349. And MSS. 

yearl460. HistLat.lib.iiLc9.p.l97. Beg. 15£.vL 11. And ibid. 19 B. i« 

edit. Amst. 1689. foL It waa translated And ibid. 19 A. xz.. " Stephanus Fortis 

into German rhymes about 1271. San- dericus scripsit. An. 1395." 

der. BibL Belg. pag. 285. There are ^ See supra, p. 298. 

numerous and very sumptuous manu^ ^ He was early translated into Grtidt 

scripts of this work in the ^itish Mu- at Constantinople, 

stum. One of them, with exquisite * Brit. Mus. MSS. Reg. 2Q B. It. S. 

twintincs, was ordered to ]be vnitUn by ^ See a French Justikian, &e. Brit. 

EdwarS the Fourth at Bruges^ 147a Mus. MSS. Reg. 20 D. ix. 2. 3. A 

MSS. Reg. 15 D. i. Another is written manuscript before ISOa 

in 1382. Ibid. 19 B. xvii. * Caxton printed a life of CnAaLts 

>» See Chaucer, Fbiobxs. T, p. 144. the Gkxat, 1485. 
col. 2. V. 3198. 



4l6 Tklt HISTORY Ol^ 

Speculum Mundi, a system of theology, the seven sciences^' 
geography, and natural philosophy^, was translated at the in-^ 
stance of the duke of Berry and Auvergne *. Among the royal 
manuscripts, is a sort of system of pious tracts, partly of ritual 
offices, compiled in Latin by the confessors of Philip in 1279, 
translated into French™ ; which translation queen Isabel or- 
dered to be placed in the church of saint Innocents at Paris, 
for the use of the people. 

TTie fourteenth century was much more fertile in French 
translation. The spirit of devotion, and indeed of this species 
of curiosity, raised by saint Louis, after a short intermission, 
rekindled under king John and Charles the Fifth. I pass over 
the prose and metrical translations of the Latin bible in the 
years 1343, and 1380, by Mace, and Raoul de Presles. Under 
those reigns, saint Austin, Cassianus, and Gregory the Great °, 
were translated into French ; and they are the first of the &r 
thers that appeared in a modem tongue. Saint Gregory's Ho- 
MELiES are by an/anonymous translator^. His Dialogues 
were probably translated by an English ecclesiastic p. Saint 
Austin's DE CiviTATE Dei was translated by Raoul de Presles, 
who acted professedly both as confessor and tranidator to 
Charles the Fifth *», about the year 1374. During the work 
he received a yearly pension of six hundred livres firom that 
liberal mcmarch, the first foimder of a royal Ubrary in France, 

^ One of the most eminent astrono- in England, as the translator's name is 

mers in this work is the poet '^gil. marked by an A. And as there is a 

I know not when <' Lx LivfiK Rot- prayer in tihe manuscript to saint Frides- 

ALL,'* a sort ofmanual,wasmade French, wide, an Oxford saint. Mem. Litt. xvii» 

The LAtin original was compiled at the p. 735.« 4to. It is very rare that we find 

command of Philip le Bell, king of" the French translating from us. Tet 

France, in 1279. Pref. to Caxton*8 Fauchet mentions a French poetess, 

£ngl. Translat. 1484. foL ' named- Marie de France, who translated 

1 See Brit Mus. MSS. Reg. 19 A.ix. the fables of Esop mobaliskd, from 

This yersion was translated into En- English into French, about the year 

glish, and printed by Caxton, 148a 1310. But this was to gratify a comte 

°| Brit. Mus. MSS. Reg. 19 C. ii. Gmllaume, with whom she was in lore, 

" See Brit Mus. MSS. Reg. 15 D. and who did not perhaps understand 

▼.1.2. English. See Fauchet, Rkguxii^ Ixxxiv. 

** Brit Mus. MSS. Reg. 15 D. ▼. 1. p. 163. edit 1581. I know nothing of 

^D. V. the fables. [See Dissertation i.] 

** It is supposed that they were ren- *> Brit. Mus. MSS. Reg. 17 F. iiL 

dered by an Englishman, or one living With pictures. And 14 D. L 



ENGLISH POETRY. 417 

lit' whose command it was undertaken. It is abcompanied with 
a prolix commentary, valuable only at present as preserving 
anecdotes of the opinions, manners, and literature, of the wri* 
ier^s age ; and from which I am tempted to give the following 
specimen, as it strongly illustrates the antient state of the French 
stage, and demonstrably proves that comedy and tragedy were 
now known only by name in France*". He observes, that Co- 
medies are so denommated from a room of entertainment, or 
from those places, in'which banquets were accustomed to be 
closed with singing, csHed in Greek Conias : that they were 
like those jeux or plays, which the minstrel, le Chanteur^ 
exhibits in halls or other public places, at a feast : and that 
they were properly styled Interludia, as being presented be- 
tween the two courses. Tragedies, he adds, were qpectacles^ 
resembling those personages which at this day we see acting 
in the Life and Pamion of a martyr*. This shews that only 
the religious drama now subsisted in France. But to proceed : 
Cassianus's Collationes Patrum,, or the Conferences, was 
translated by John Goulain, a CarmeUte monk, about 1363. 
Two translations of that theological romance Boethius's Con«- 
soLATioN, one by the celebrated Jean de Meun, author of the 
Romance of the Rose, existed before the year 1340. Others 
of the early Latin Christian writers were ordered to be turned 
into Frendi by queen Jane, about 1332* But finding that the 
archbishop of Rouen, who was commissioned to execute this 
arduous task, did not understand Latin, she employed a Men- ' 
dicant firiar. About the same period, and under the same pa- 
tronage, the Legenda Aurea, written by James de Voragine^ 
archbishop of Genoa, about the year 1260, that inexhausti- 
ble repository of rdigious fable S was translated by Jehan de 
Yignay, a monk hospitaler". The same translator gave also a 

' See supra, vol. ii. p. 67. " Brit. Mus. MSS. Reg. 19 B. xvii: 

• Ch. viii. Kv. ii. The copy was written 1382. TTiis vei^- 

^ In the year 1555, the learned Claud, don seems to be the same which Caxton 

£spence was oblieed to make a public translated^ and printed, 148S. While it 

recantation for camng it Leoenda Fxk* was printing, William lord Arundel gave 

USA. Tbuan. sub ann. Laun. Hist. Caxton annually a buck in summer and 

Gymnas. Navarr. p. 704. 297* « doe in winter. 

VOL. II. 2 E 






418 THC HISTORY OF 

version ci a fiunoiis ritual entitled Sv&^tlvm^ EcGL£siiB» or the 
MiR&ouR OF THE Church, of Chess moralissd. Written hy 
Jacobus de Casulis^ : and of Odoricus's Voyage intq tbs 
East ^. Thcxnaa Benoit, a prior of saint GenetieiBey gratified 
the religious widi a translation inlQ a more inteffigihle language 
ofsome Latin liturgic pieces about the year lSd6L Buthisdiief 
performance was a translation. into Fcendi^erse of die>RuLB 
OF SAINT Austin. This he m^ertook m^^ on a principle 
of afifection and charity, for the edification of his pious: brethr^i 
who did not understand Latin. 

Pour Tamour de vous, tres chers freres, 
En Frai>9ois ai trexluit ce Latin, 

And in tiie pre&ce he says, ^^ Or s^ai-je que plusiew^ de vous 
n' entendent pas Men, Latin auqud: il &t chose necessaire de 
la rieule [regie] entendre" BencHtf s sncoessour in the priorate 
of saint Qenevieve was not equally attentive to the disciplbe 
and piety of his monks* Instead of translating monkish Latio, 
and enforcing the salutary regulations of saint Austin, he wrote 
a system of rules for BALLAD-wmTiNG^ L'Art de ni€Ti£R 
Ballade et Rondels, the first Art of poetry that ever ap- 
peared in France* 

Among the moral bodes now translated, I must not omit 
the Spirituelle Amitie of John of Meun, fixmt die Latin of 
Aldred an English mcmk^; In the same s^le of mystic piety 
was the treatise c^ Consolation, written in Latin, by Ymce^ 
de Beauvais, and sent to saint Louis, translated in the year 
X374« In the year 1340, Henri de Suson, a German domini* 
can and a mystic doctor, wrote a laofA comprjgheiisive.ti%atis6 
called HoROLOGiuM Sapienti^. This was translated into 
French by a mcmk of saint Fram^ois'* Even the ofiiperji of 
the court of Charles the Fifth were seized with the ardour of 

^ Brit. Mus. MSa Reg. IS C. xi. U Iu& ttaduetimu, aC thebegin^g of his 

Tlu8 veraon was translate in £nglbb» CongohHon pkilo90j4uque, lam notac* 

and printed, by Caztdn, 1474. - quainted with the Engliah kkn^. 

"^ Ibid. 19 D. i. 4. 5. .^ Englished, and printed, by Caxton> 

y It is mentioned in the catalogue, of very eany. 



IbraOfilaliQg Tf^gmm piec^ oo less than iiste ecd^ia&tics* The 
tme^ ^hffixA tsnact of iaor«L L^^ity tr^pslated intq ?]*eQch> 
was the eeldxrftted. bpc^ of our CQqntxyman John of Salisburyi 
Pk NuoiSi Ci^m^mJMU Thju» versipQ was made, ligr Dems 
jSoulechart^ a li^a^rned Qord^er, about die yefu: 13^. Kot« 
wi^siajidiqg tbev Spistlss of Abelard and ipUoisa, no( only 
£:o«» d)e celobri^ of Abi^d as a Parisian theolcgist, bmt 09 
mrcoiint of tiie. i»jl)Q^t;iog iiistc^ry of that unfortunate pair, must 
baye been a< compooly loiowp, and as likely to be read in the 
ori^jtial, as. ainy Latio book m Fxm^ th^y wei^e translated 
into Freich in this century, by John of M§un ; wfeo prostituted 
Im abilbies when be relinquished his own noble ii^ventio&s, to 
inli^ret the pedantries erf* monk% schodmen, and proscribed 
pksMGs. I ddiik , he abo. translated Veg^tius, wtiip ^iU p$eur 
«g(M»^t In the libfaiy of saint OOTeviev«^ there is, iq ^ sort 
of sys^tem of re%i(HV a piece called JfiRARgH^j t]:Bn6l^ted ftom 
l4itin ijato French at the command of our qu,e^n Eluiior) im the 
ye^ 18975 by a French friar ^ I must not however fo»get| 
^skst amidst thia prolusiaa of treatises of religion aud insttu<y- 
tion, eivU history fouud a {dace. ThM inyp^nse chaos of $v6nts 
]fe^ and ttctxtwrn, the Histoi^jcal Mibbour of Viiu^ntde 
B^uvai% W9» translated by if^an d^ Vignay abpv^ m^titipned^* 
One is not siirpris^d t^, the trapslat^r of tjie Goi«t>^i( J^e&£n& 
sh^d mak^ m>. beti^ir cJtedic^. 

The, desolatipn {^roducedt V^ Fiuoice^ by the victorious ar- 
Vimj^ the Engliifc, was insjantly sjie^^e^ by a flquri/shing 
state of lett^s« King Jcdm^ havhi^ indulged his deyptioi), antj 

* Tbere is a copy written in 1284, frere Willame Notington [f. Northing- 

[1384,1 Brit. Mus. MSS. Reg. 30 B. ton in Hampshire,] ministre d'Engle- 

XV. Onen, ibid. John of Mean is also terre...!^. de grace m.ccc.xvii.** 
said to have translated Mibabzlia Hi* ^ Brit. Mus. MSS. Reg. 14 £. i. 
sxaiiiJB. ** A curious pictiure of the distracted 

^ ^ Cette JxRAECHix translata frese state of France is recorded by Petrarch. 

Jehan de Pentham de Latin en Fran- The king, with the Dauphin, returning 

^oys, i la requeste la reine d*-^gleterre from his captivity in England, in passing 

Afienore fenune leroy Edward. ** There through Picardy, was obliged to make a 

is alio this note ini the manuscript.- ''Cest pecuniary barpaiu with the numerous 

livreresigiia frere Jordan deKyngestone robbers that infested diat country, to 

k la commune des freres Menurs de travel unmolested. ViE^Kra. iii.. 543.^ 
Southampton, par la volunte du graunt 

2 E 2 



420 THEHISTORVOr 

satisfied his conscience, by procuring numerous versions of 
books written on sacred subjects, at length turned his attention 
to the classics. His ignorance of Latin was a fortunate circum- 
stance, as it produced a curiosity to know the treasiures of Ladn 
literature. He employed Peter Bercheur, prior of saint Eloi 
at Paris, an emment theologist, to translate Livy into French* ; 
notwithstanding that author had been anathematised by pope 
Gregory. But so judicious a choice was undoubtedly dictated 
by Petrarch, who regarded Livy with a d^ee of eilthusiasm, 
who was now resident at the court of France, and who perhaps 
condescended to direct and superintend the translation. The 
translator in his Latin work called Repertorium, a sort of 
general dictionary, in which all things are proved to be alle- 
gorical, and reduced to a moral meaning, under the word 
Roma, records this great attempt in the following manner* 
'^TiTUM LiviuM, ad requisitionem domini Johannis indyti 
Francorum regis, non sine labore et sudoribusy in linguam Gal- 
licam transtuli^." To this translation we must join those of 
Sallust, Liican, and Cesar : all which seem to have been finished 
before the year 1365. This revival of a taste for Roman hi- 
story, most probably introduced and prc^agated by Petrarch 
during his short stay in the French court, immediately pro- 
duced a Latin historical compilation called Romuleok, by an 
anonymous gentleman of France ; who soon found it necessary 
to translate his work into the vemacuhur language. Valerius 
Maximus could not remain long imtranslated. A version of 
that favourite author, begun by Simon de Hesdin, a mcmk, in 
1 364, was finished by Nicolas de Gonesse, ^ master in theology, 

* See Heiiault»NouT«L.ABRso. Hist, there is a most valuable manuscript of 

Fa. p. 229. edit 1752. 4to. And Vix dk this version in two folio volumes. In 

]^£TRARQUE, iii. 547. the front of each book are various mi- 

' Thb was the translation of livy, tiiatures and pictures, most beautifully 

which, with other books, the duke of finished. Dan. Maichel de Bibliothec. 

Bedford, regent of France, about 1425, Paris, pag. 79. Tliere is a copy, tran- 

sent into England to Humphrey duke of scribed about the time the translation 

Gloucester. The copy had been a pre- was- finished. Brit. Hus. MSS. Reg. 

sent to the king of France. Mem. Litt. 15 D. vi. Dxs Fais db Romaiks. With 

ii. 747. 4to. &e the Secovd Disskuta- pictures. 
TiON. In the Sorbonne library at Paris, 



ENGLISH POETRY. 421 

1401 ^. Under the last-mentioned reign, Ovid's^ Metamorphoses 
MORALISED ^ were translated by Guillaume de Nangis : and the 
same poem was translated into French verse, at the request o^ 
Jane de Bourbonne, afterwards the consort of Charles the 
Fifth, by Philip de Vitri, bishop of Meaux, Petrarch's firiend, 
who was living in 1 36 1 ^ A bishop would not have undertaken 
this work, had he not perceived much moral doctrine couched 
under the pagan stories. Jean le Fevre, by command of Charles 
the Fifth, translated the poem De Vetula, falsely ascribed to 
Ovid*. Cicero's Rhetorica appeared in French by master 
John de Antioche, at the request of one friar. William, in the 
year 1388. About the same time, some of Aristotle's pieces 
were translated from Latin ; his Problems by Evrard de Conti» 
physician to Charles the Fifth ; and his Ethics and Politic? 
by Nicholas d'Oresme, while cancm of Rouen. This was the 
most learned man in France, and tutor to Charles the Fifth ; 
who, in consequence of his instructions, obtained a competent 
skill in Latin, and in the rules of the grammar ^ Other Greek 
classics, which now began to be known by being translated 
into Latin, became still more familiarised, especially to general 
readers, by being turned into French. Thus Poggius Floren- 
tinus's recent Latin version of Xenophon's Cyropjedia was 
translated into French by Vasque de Lucerie, 1370™. The 
Tactics of Vegetius, an author who frequently confounds the 
military practices of his own age with those of antiquity, ap- 

^ Brit. Mus. MBS. Beg* 18 £. iii. iy. piece to be the forgeiy of one Leo Pro- 

With elegant delineations, and often in tonotarius, an officer in the court at 

the same library. Constantinc^le, who writes the preface. 

. ^ Perh^written.vi Latin by Joannes Hist. Poes. Med. ^v. p. 2089. He 

Grammaticus, aboyi 1070. See the Sb- proves the work supposititious, from its 

COND DissBRTAmOK. seTeral Arabicisms and scriptural ex^ 

^ There was a French Ovid in duke pressions, &c. Bradwardine cites many 

Himiphrey*s library at Oxford. See lines from it, Advers. Pelag. p. 33. As 

0upra, p.355. And Brit. Mus. MSS. Reg. does Bacon, in his astrological tracts. It 

17 £^ iv, 1. This version, as I appre- is condemned by Bed^ as heretical. In 

hend, is the same that Caxton translated Boeth.de Trinit. Selden intended a Dia- 

into i^nglish prose, and printed, 1480. sertation on this forgery, De Synedr.iii. 

A mfuiuKript is in Bibl. Pepys. Magd. 16. It is in hexameters, in three books. 
Coll. Cant Cat. MSS. AngU &c torn. fi. i Christin. Vie Charles V. 
N. 6791. "» Brit Mus. MSS. Reg. 17 E. v. 1. 

^ Polycaripus Leyserus supposes this And 16 G. ix. With pictures. 



422 tWE HISTORY OP 

jpearet} Ufld^r the title of Livrxs des Fais d'Armes £t d£ 
Chevallkrxs, by Qiristina of Pisa''. Petrarch itt Remebiis 
VTftivSijJtJE FoRTiTNiB, a 1^ of Latm dialogue, was translated, 
ttdt only by Nicholas d'Oresme, but by two of the officers of 
the rc^al houshold^, in compliment to Petrarch at his leaving 
France p. Many philosc^hical pieces, particularly in astrol<^, 
of which Charles the Fifth was remarkably fond,, were trans^ 
lated before tl^ end of the fourteenth century. Among these, 
I must not pass over the QuADRrPARTiTUM of Ptolemy, by Ni- 
cholas 4'Oresme; the AoRrctJLTURES or L'ibri Auralium 
CoMMODORUM, (>f Peter de Crescentiis, a physician of Boncmia, 
about the year l2d5, by a niuneless friar p'eadier''; and the 
book De PROPRiBTAfi&trs Rerum: of Bartholomew AnglicuB^ 
die Pliny of the monks, by John Corbichon, an Augustine 
monk*^ I have seen a French manuscript of Guido de Co» 
lonna's Trc^ r<»nan<^ the hand-writing of wfaidi bdongs t& 
this century'. 

^ MSS. Reg. 19 B. xviii. &c. Vege- wards translated it into Italian, and it 
tins was early translated into all the ino- has been translated by odiers into Latin, 
flem languages. There is an English |t was Ihemodel.andfoisndatioB of Bar- 
one, probably by John Trevisa, as it is tholomeus of the Properties of Tbings, 
lidcb^essed to bis patron lord Berkeley, of Bereheur's Bcpertorium, and of 
A. p. 1408. MS3. Digb. 283. Prine, many other works of the same spedjo, 
** In olde tyme it was the manere." whidi soon followed. See Brit. Mus. 
Thffl-e is A translation of VegetitiB, writ^ MSS. beg. 1 7 £. i. It wiU occur again. 
ten at Rhodes, '<die 25 Octobris, 1459, ** DesFrouffitz ch^mpbstrks kt bin 
p^ Johannem Newton.'* ad calc Bibl. raux. Brit. Mus. MSS. Reg. 14 £. 
3odl. K. 53. Laud. MSS. Christina's ^ In twdve books. See Jacob. QuetiC 
Vernon was translated, and printed, by" torn. i. p. 666. 
Caxton, 1489. See supra, p. 577. ' Leland says, that diis translation is 

° See Niceron, torn. 28. p. 384. elegant; and tOat h^ saw k in duke 

^ Mons. 1' Ab. Lebeuf says Seiiica in- HuinfVey*s lilbrtiry>1it Oxford Script. 

9ltM. of Petrarch. Mem.Littxvii. p. 759. Brit. cap. ccclxviii. See Brit. Mas. MSS. 

I must not forget to observe, tliat se- I^^ 17 £» lii. ^^Ih pictures. Ibid, 

veral whole books in Bruhetto's Taesoa i5 K ii. ^ Wh^re the translation la as. 

-consist of ti*anslations from Aristdfle^ signed to the year ^SWn^^-Tbe writing ef 

\JOUy, and Pliny, into Frendi. Branetto the nmfciuscript, t()I46% Wi&|iicfur6s. 
was a Morentine> and the master of ' Brit. Mus. MSS. (Reg. 16 F. ix. A 

Dante. He died in 1295. The Tresou hew translation s^i^Aiatblave been mad^ 

-was « SOTt of £ncyclopede, exhibiting a by Rauol lo T'eo^ in 1464. Englisbed 

-course oif practical and them^c phSo- by Caxto^, aind^fn^ted, 1471. ' Caiton*B 
^ophy, of dhrinity, cosmogrephyv geogf^ OoDEFaer of ddtoi^K, irta^ted ftom 

phy, histO^ sacred and profane, physics, -the Freiicb, and printed 14S1, liad «. 

ethics, rhetoric, and politios. It Was •Lalln<>ri|^iiiil.^ The French, li^ne copy, 

written in French by BrnnettO during is in Bnt. Mus. 17 F. v. MSS. Reg. 
his residence in France : bat he after- Sfej^s flSldt [^See silpra, p, 407.} 



ENGLISH POllTRV. 4SS 

In the fifteenth century it became fa^ionable among the 
French, to p<dish and reform their old rude translations made 
two hundred years befi^are : and to reduce many of their me- 
trical versions into prose. At the same time, the rage of traQs- 
lathig eedesiastical tntcts beg^n to decrease. The latter cir- 
cumstance was partly owing to the introduction of better books, 
and pardy to die invention of pi-inting. Instead of procuring 
laborious and expensive ti'anslattons of die antient fathers, the 
prkiteis, who rauhiphed greatly towards the close of this cen- 
tury^ fbtmd thmr advantisge in publii^ing new ti-anslations of 
more agreeable bo<dcs,«oar in giving antient versions in a modern 
dress". Yet in this century some of the more re^cent doctors 
ef tlie diiuxji were translated. Not to mendcm tbe Episdes of 
saint Jerom, whidi Antoine ^ufour, a Dominican fmr, pre- 
^nted in French to Anne de Bretagne, consort to king Charles 
Htm E^^ith, We find, samt Ansdm's Cur Dsus Homo ^, The 

X^AllVffiNTATIOVS OF SAINT BERNARD, The SuM OF ThEOLOOY 

<^ Aibertus Magnus, The Prick of Divine Love^ of saint 
Bonatsntune a sen^uc doctor ^, with other pieces of the kind, 

" I take this opportunity of observing, ' Supra, vol. i. p. 81. 

thatonettf these was tbe romance ofisn* ^ He lAourished in Italy, about the 

I^NCELOT DU Lac, translated from the year 127a The fenorroous magnificence 

Latin by Robert de Borron, at the com- of his funeral deserves notice, more than 

mimd of our Henry &e S^cohd or Third, any anecdote of his life ; as it paints the 

JSee supra, voL i. p. 118. This new high devotion of the times, and the at- 

Lakcelot, I believe, is the same which tention formerly paid to theological li- 

mis. printed 9t Paris by Antony Verard, terature. There were present pope Gre* 

1494. In three vastfotio volumes. An- gory the tenth, the emperour of Greece 

olber. Is tbe romance of Gtkon le Codr- by several Greek noblemen his proxies, 

TOis, translated also from Iditin, at the Baldwin tiie second the Latin eastern 

command of tke same monarch, by Lu- emperour, James king of Arragon, the 

cas, or Luce, chevalier du Chateau du patriarchs of Constantinople tmd Anw 

GcLSti or Gat, or Gal, and printed by Ve- tioch, aU the cardinals, five hundred 

tard as above. See Lenglet,Bibl.Eom.ii. bishops and archbishops, sixty abbots 

p. 117. The old GumoN ce Courtois more than athousandpr^Eites and priests 

is said to be translated by " Luce cheva- of lower rank, the ambassadors of many 

Ker seigtieur du chasteau du (Jal, [per- kings and potentates, the deputies of tiifc 

baps Sal. an abbreviation for Salisbury,] Tartars and oCher nations, and an innu- 

voisin prochain du sir6 du SabliereS, par merable concourse of people of all or- 

Ic ootttmandement de tres noble et tree ders and degteds. The sepulchral cere^ 

puissant prince M. le roy Henry jadis monies were celebrated with the mqst 

foy d*Angleterre." Bibl. Reg; Pma* donsummctte jpomp, and the funeral ora- 

Cod. 7586, See sitpia, vd. up. 118, tion was pronounced by a future pope* 

jSTote •. Mirmi Auetar. Script. Eccles. p. 72. edit. 

" Written in 1098. Fabric [See supra, w^. i. p. 81, j 



424 .THE HISTORY OF 

exhibited in the French language before the year 14H0» at the 
petition and under the patronage of many devout duchesses. 
Yet in the mean time, the lives of saints and sacred history gave 
w^y to a species of narrative more entertaining and not less fii* 
bulous. Little more than Josej^us, and a few Martyrdoms, 
were now translated from the Latin into French, 

The truth is, the French translators of this century were 
chiefly employed on profane authors. At its commencement, 
a French abridgement of the three first decads of Livy was 
produced by Henri Romain a canon of Touniay, In the year 
1416, Jean de Courci, a knight of Normandy, gave a translar 
tion of some Latin chronicle, a History of the Greeks and 
Romans, entitled Bouquassiere. In 1403, Jean de Cour^ 
teauisse, a doctor in theolc^ at Paris, translated Seneca on 
the Four Cardinal Virtues*, Under the reign of king 
Charles the Seventh, Jean Cossa translated the Chronology 
of Mattheus Palmerius a learned Florentine, and a writer of Itar 
lian poetry in imitation of Dante. In the dedication to Jane the 
Third, queen of Jerusalem, and among other titles countess of 
Provence, the translator apologises for supposing her highness 
to be ignorant of Latin ; when at the same time he is fully con* 
vinced, that a lady endowed with so much natural grace, must 
be perfectly acquainted with that language. ^^ Mais pour ce 
que le vulgar Fran<joys est plus commun, j'ai pris peine y 
translater ladite oeuvre." Two other translations were offered 
to Charles the Seventh in the year 1445. One, of the first 
Punic War of Leonard of Arezzo, an anonymous writer, who 
does not chuse to publish his name a cause de sa petitesse ; and 
the Stratagems of Frontinus, often cited by John of Salisbury, 
and mentioned in the Epistles of Peter of Blois^, by Jean de 
Rouroy, a Parisian theologist Under Louis the Eleventh, Se- 
bastian Mamerot of Soissons, in the year 1466, attempted a new 
translation of the Romuleon : and he professes, that he under- 

' It is supposititioiis. It was forged» his time^ Hist. Franc, v. 38. It was a 

about the year 560, by Martianus an arch- great favourite of the theological ages. 
|»shop of Portugal) whom Gregory of * Epist. 94. 
Tours calls the mo^t eminent writer of ' 



ENGLISH POETRY. 425 

took it isolely with a yiew of improving or decorating the French 
language \ 

Many French versicms of classics appeared in this century. 
A translation of Quintus Curtius is dedicated to Charles duke 
of Burgundy, in 1468 ^. Six years afterwards, the same liberal 
patron commanded Cesar's Commentaries to be translated by 
Jean du Chesne*^. Terence was made French by Guillaume 
Rippe, the king's secretary, in the year 1466. The following 
year a new translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses was executed 
by an ecclesiastic of Normandy *• But much earlier in the cen- 
tury, Laurence Premierfait, mentioned above, translated, I sup- 
pose from the Latin, the Oeconomics of Aristotle, and TuUy's 
De Amicitia and De Senectute, before the year 1426 ^ He 
is said also to have translated some pieces, perhaps the Epi- 
STLBs, of Seneca^. Encouraged by this example, Jean de 
Luxembourgh, Laurence's cotemporary, translated TuUy's 
Oration against Verres. I must not forget that Hipipocrates 
and Galen were translated from Latin into French in the year 
1429. The translator was Jean Tourtier, surgeon to the duke 
of Bedf(»rd, then regent of France ; and he humbly supplicates 
Rauoul Palvin, confessor and physician to the duchess, and 
John Major, first physician to the duke, and graduate en Fes-- 

^ I am not sure whether this is not and John Tiptofb earl of Worcester, and 

much the same as Le Grande Histoire printed by Caxton, 1481. Botoner pre* 

Cksaji, &c Taken from Lucan, Sue> sented his manuscript copy to William of 

tonius, Orosius, &Cr Written at Bruges Waynfletebishopof Winchester in 1473. 

at the command of our Edward the See supra, p.372. Caxton*s EnglishCATt^ 

Foiuth, in 1479. That is, ordered to printed 1483, was from the French As 

be written by him. A manuscript with were his Fables of ^sop, printed 1485^. 

pictures. MSS. Reg. 17 F. ii. 1. Brit. '^ Crucimanius mentions a version of 

Mus. But see ibid. Romelsok, ou des Seneca by Premierfait, as printed at 

JFaits des Ronumis, in ten books. With F^uris, in 1500. Bibl. Gall. p. 287. A 

pictures. MSS. B^eg. 19 £. v. See also translation of Seneca's Ds quatuorVir- 

20 C. i. TUTiBUs Cardinalibus, but suppofiiti- 

, ' Brit, Mus. MSS. Reg. 17 F. i. With tious, is given to Premierfait, Brit. Mus. 

beautiful pictures. MSS. Reg. 20 A. xii. Sanders redtes 

' ^ Brit. Mus. MSS. Reg. 16 G. viii. the Epistles of Seneca, translated into 

.With pictures. Another appeared by French by some anonymous writer, at 

Robert Gaguen in 1485. the command of Messire Barthelemi fi^« 

. ^ Perhaps this mightbeCaxton*8 copy, ginulfe a nobleman of Naples. Bibl. 

See above, p» 421. Cathedr.Tomacens. p. 209. Piece$ of 

' The two latter version^, w^re trans- Seneca have been frequently translated 

latcd into English by William Botoner, into Frendh, tod, very early. . 



426 THE HISTORY OF 

Hcde d^jiuaot^brd\ and master Roullajcv. physician and astro- 
nomer of the university of Paris, amicably to amend the &ults 
of diis trundadon, \^idi is intended to place the science and 
practice of medicine on a new fimndation. I presume it was 
bom a Latin version that the Iliad, about this period, was 
transliited into French metre. 

Among other pieces that mi^t be enumerated in this cen« 
tury, in the year 1412, Gkiiilaume de Itgnonville, provost <^ 
Paris, translated the Dicta Philosophobuk ^ : as did Jean 
GaU(^s dean of the collegiate duurch of saint Louis, of Sal* 
soye, in Normabdy, the Iter Vitjb Humaks of GuiUaume 
prior of Chalis^. This version, eaatitied Lb Pelerinage de 
LA-Vi£ HuMAiNE, is dedicated to Jean queen o£ Sicily, dbove 
mentioned; a duchess of Anjouand a countess of Provence: 
who, without any sort of difficulty, could make a transition from 
the Life of sir Lancelot to that of samt Austin, and who somo^ 
times qaitted the tribunal of the Court of Love to confer 
with learned ecclesiastics, in an age when gallantry and reUgicm 
were of equal importance. He also translated, from the same 
author, a compositbn of die same ideal and contemplative 
oast, called Le Pelerin de l'Ams, hi^y esteemed by those 
viidonaries.who preferred jreligious aUegory to romance, which 
was dedicated to the duke of Bedford ^ In Bennet college 
library at-Cambridge, there is an elegant illuminated manuscript 
of Bonaventure's Life of Christ, translated by Gallopes ; 
containing a curious picture of the translator presenting his 
version to our Henry the Fifth*. About the same time, but 

*i OxonfonL Oxfm^ Caxton's Pilohimags op thb Sow&e, mi 

> Brit. Mbs. Mas. R^. 19 A. viii English tnmsktion from the Fnndi, 

Ssepins. ibid. This iFenioti was trans- (irilited in 1483. foL Ames says, that 

Urteid into Englidi by lord Rivers, and Antonine Gerard is the author of the 

printed by Caxten, MV?* French, whidi was priirted at Paris, 

k See Labb. Bibl. MSS. p. 31 7. Bibl. 148a Hist. Prmt. p. S4» 

Eonton. ii. 236. And Oudin. iii. 97d. "* See Arcsaol. vol. iL p. 1 W. And 

GuiOaom lived about 135^. Some oif Brit M119. M8& Reg. 16 6*ili. 20 B.iT. 

the French literaiy antiquaries stqipose Englished about 1410, and printed l^ 

this to be a Xatin piece. It is, however, C«ston Tery early. The English trans- 

in Freneh verse, whidi was reduced into lator, I believe, is John Morton, an An* 

pfose by Gallopes. gnstine friAr. 

1 I am not ceruxR, whether this is 



ENGLISH POETRY. 427 

beibi« 14127, Jean de Guerre translated a Latin compilation of 
a& that was^ maireHous in Hiny, Sotinus, and the Otia Impb- 
RiJkXJA, a book alxmmttng in wonders, dFout countryman Ger- 
vais of Tilbury^. . The French rcmiance, entitled L' Assail* 
LANT, was now tmndlitol from the Latin chrcmicles of the kmgs 
of Cologne : and die Latin txact. De Bonis Moribus of Ja* 
cobus Magnus, coahssor to Charles the Seventh, about the 
year 14^ was made Fi^^ich^^ Rather earlier, Jean de Pref» 
mier&it transited Boogacio de Casibits Vi&orum Illusi- 
TRiUM^. Nor shall I be thought to deviate too &r &am my 
detail, Ti^ieh is confined to Latin originals, when I mention 
here a book, the tarandation of which into French conduced in 
an eminent dq^ree to circulate materials for poetry : diis is 
Boccado's Decameron, which Premkr&it also translated, at 
the command of queen Jane c£ Navarre, who seems to have 
made no kind of conditions about si^ipressing the Uoentioua 
stories, in the year 1414^* 

I am not e^Cactly informed, when the Eneip of Virgil was 
translated into a sort ci metrical romance or history of Eneas, 
tmder the tide o£ Livre d' Eneibos compile par Virgile, 
l>y GnillaithTe de Roy. But that translation was printed at 
Lyons in 1485, and appears to have been finished not many 

" lAe flourished about the year 1218. Italian, as I have before observed, was 

^ See supra, p. 37 1 . There is a version adtiendy called H votgare Latino. Hius 

of Boccacio*s de Cla.ris Mvliekisus, the Frendi romance of Mxliabus nc 

4>erhapsby Fremierfait, Brit.Mu^.MSS. Leonnois is said to foe translate du La- 

^g. ^ C. V. TiK, by Rustieien tie Pifla^ edit. Par. 

' This version Was En^khed, and 1532. fol. Thus also Gt&ok ls Couk- 

printed, by Caxton, 1487. tois is called a version from the Latin. 

"> See Brit Mus. MSS. Reg. 19 E. 4. [Si^ta^p. 423. Note ".] M. dela Mon- 

Whereit is said that the Decameron was noye observes, « Que quand on trouve 

first translated into L^tin. ItisUdf^efy mie certains vrsrrc Romaks ont he tra- 

lit^ralt It was printed at Paris 1485. foL duHs de Latin en Fran9oi8, par Luees 

Again, ibid. 1534. 8vo. It was again de Salesberies,' Robert de Borron, Rus- 

*transl«^ by Antoine ^e !Mhicon, fol. ticiep de I^, ou autres, ceki signifie 

Paris 1543* A^d often afterw^ds. due 9*a 6t6 b'Itauen en Francois." 

[In Jiean Petit*s edition in 1535, and Kem. au Bibl. Fiu du La Croix du 

perhaps in that of 1485, <^ Bretnifer^ Miiine, &Cs took H. p. 33. edit. .1773. 

faict*s translation of the .Decameron, it [See supra, Addit. ad p. 15. i.] Pre- 

& said to' be trandatM ftoth Latin into mierfaict's French I>eca»erok, wfaSdi 

French. But Latin here means Italian* he calls Cameron, is a most wretched 

Hence a mistake arose, that Boccacio caricature of the original— Additipms.] 
wrote his Pecamxhok In toflti* Tb« 



428 THE HISTORY OF 

years before. Among the translator's historical additions, are 
the description of the first foundation of Troy by Priam, and 
the succession of Ascanius and his descendants after the death 
of Tumus. He introduces a digression upon Boccacio, for 
giving in his Fall of Princes an account of the death of Dido^ 
difierent from that in the fourth book of the Eneid. Among 
his omissions, he passes over Eneas's desc^it into hell, as a tale 
manifestly forged, and not to be Jbelieved by any rational reader: 
AS if many other parts of the translator's story were not equally 
fictitious and incredible '^^ 

The conclusion intended to be drawn from this long digres- 
sion is obvious. By means of these French translations, our 
countrymen, who understood Frei^ch much better than Latin, 
became acquainted with many usefid books which they would 
not otherwise have known. With such assistances, a commo- 
dious access to the classics was opened, and the knowledge of 
antient literature facilitated and familiarised in England, at a 
much earlier period than is imagined ; and at a time, whea 
litde more than the productions of speculative monks, and ir- 
refragable doctors, could be obtained or were studied. Very 
few Englishmen, I will venture to pronounce, had read Livy 
before die translation of Bercheur was imported by the r^ent 
duke of Bedford. It is certain that many of the Roman poets 
and historians were now read in England, in the original. But 
the Latin language was for the most part confined to a few ec- 
clesiastics. When these authors, therefore, appeared in a lan- 
guage almost as intelligible as the English, they fell into the 
hands of illiterate and common readers, and contributed to sow 
the seeds of a national erudition, and to form a popular taste. 
Even the French versions of the religious, philosophical, histo- 
rical, and allegorical compositions of those more enlightened 
Latin writers who flourished in the middle ages, had their use, 
till better books came into vogue : pregnant as they were vnth 
absurdities, they communicated instruction on various and new 

' It was tiBDslated, and piinjted, by Qatpn, H9a 



ENGLISH POETlt.V. 429 

sakbjects, enl^ged the field o( informartioii, knd promoted the 
love of reading, by gratifying that growing literary curioffl^ 
l¥hich now begau to want materials for the exercise of its ope- 
rations. How greatly our poets in general avaUed themselves 
of these treasures, we may collect ^om this circumstance only: 
even such writers as Chaucer and Lydgate, men of educaticai 
and learning, when they translate a Latin author, appear to 
execute their work through the medium of a French version^ 
It is needless to pursue this history of French translation any 
&rther. I have given my reason for introducing it at alL In 
the next age, a great and universal revolution in literature en-*^ 
sued ; . and the English themselves began to turn their thoughts 
to translation. 

These French versions enabled Caxton, our first printer, to 
enrich the state of letters in this country with many valuable 
publications. He found it no difficult task, either by himself 
or the help of his friends, to turn a considerable number of 
these pieces into English, which he printed. Antient learning 
had as yet made too littie progress among us, to encourage this 
enterprising and industrious artist to pubUsh the Roman au- 
thors in their original language* : and had not the French fur^ 

* It ia, however, remarkable, that from No Greek book, of any kind, had yet 

the year 1471, in which Caxton be^n appeared from an English press- 1 be^. 

to print, down to the year 1540, dunng lieve the first Greek characters used in 

wlucfa period the English press flourished any work printed in England, are in Li- 

greatly under the conduct of many^in- nacer*s tnuislation of G^len de Tempera* 

dustrious, ingenious, and even learned mentis, printed at Cambridge in 1521, 

artists, only tiie very few following cks- 4to. A few Greek words, and abbrevi». 

sics, some of which hardly deserve that tures, are here and there introduced, 

name, were printed in Englimd. These The printer was John Siberch, a Ger- 

were, Boethujs de Qmsoiatume ; both man, a friend of Erasmus, who styles 

IrfBtin and English, for Caxton, without himself ;7rtmii< dtriusqux lingua in Jn^' 

date. The Latin Esopiak Fables, in glia tmprenor. There are Greek charac* 

verse, for Wjrnkyn de Worde, 1503. 4to. ters in some of his other books of this 

[And once or twice afterwards.] Tx- date. But he printed no entire Greek 

KXNCK, with the Comment of ^dius book. In Linacer*s treatise JDe emen* 

Ascensius, for the same, 1504. 4to. Via- data Stmctura Latini Sermoms, printed 

oil's Bucoucs, for the same, 1512. 4to. by Pinson in 1524, many Greek charac- 

[Again, 1533. 4to.] Tully's Officxs, ters are intermixed. In the sixth book 

Latin and English, the translation by are seven Greek lines together. But 

Whittington, 1533. 4to. The university the planter apologises for his imperfec- 

of Oxford, durine this period, produced tions and unskilmilness iu the Greek 

' only the first Book of Tullt's Epistlxs, types ; which, he says, were but recently 

at Uie charge of cardinal Wolsey, with- cast, and not in a sufficient quantity for 

out date, or printer's name. Cambridge such a work. The passage is curious, 

not a single classic. ** ^quo animo feras siquiie liters?, in ex. 



490 THE HisromT ot 

ni^^ him with lliese inateiials^ it is not likefy^ ihat Va^ 
Ovid, Cicero, and rnanj other good writers, woaid by tibe 
means of his press have been circdated in the Engliah topgac^ 
so early as the ekfi^ of tJM^ i^)»enth oenturj. 



■vwna 



KoTE A.-^fJFh)m the Emendations and AddkiomKJ 
These British Lais, of which I have givai spec^ens 
. at the beginning of the First Dissertation, and of whidi 
sir Laitnfal is one, are discovered to have been translated 
into French from the language of Armorican Bret^ne^ shofot 
the thirteenth century, by Marie a French poetess, who made 
the translation ef Esop above mentioned. See Cant. T. vcA. iv. 
p. 165. edit 1775. But Marie's was not the only Collection of 
British Lais, in French : as appears, not only from the earl 
rf TiioLousE, but by the romance of Emare, a translation 
frcmi the French, which has this similar passage, St ult. ' 

Thys ys on of Btytayne layes 
That was used of old dayes. 

MSS. Cotton. Calig. A ii. foL 69. (see f. 70.) The Song rf 
SIR GowTHERf is said' by the writer to be t»kea from one of 

tmplis Hellenismi, vel tmAs Tel apiriiibus monasteries, tiiie H^taew matimsmpts of 

caeeant. Hbenim nonaatUinittmetut. Ramsejc aJbboy^ coUeoted by Hofi>ecli 

erat typog«q»h«s» videlicet recen* ab eo one dF the imniks, togetho^ with HcA^ 

JuMS chamcteribiis OrsMiis, nep jxira^^d bedi.*s< J9Mmiv Dte^wMoyy. Wbod^'HisU 

cagria qua ad hoe aaenduoa opus est.*' ADt.UniY.Oson. iik S51'. Lelsnd. JSoip* 

About the same period of the English tor; ▼. HoLBsbcvs. 

luress^ the sasoe embaniasBments appear It was a efrcwmsttmre fltToonbiB at 

to have happeneclwith regand to H^rew least to English literature, owing indeed 

types f whuUi. yet weve more lik^y, as to the generajbiUiteracyofthetiines^tiiat 

^lat language was so muoh less kaitmu our first printers "^re so litde ^ployed 

In the year IS24, doctor Robei^t Wake* on books written in ihe learned Isn^ 

field, chaplain to Hcmry tlie Bighth^ guages. AhnostallCaxton^sboc^are 

published his OmOm de Umdibui et utiU^ English* TbemuUipli^QBof Eaf^ish 

^ tnum-linguai^m Aiy^bioa, ChaldtneOi copies multtpUed' Bi^Ush readers; and 

et Hebraicm^ &o. 4to. The printer was thoe again produced new- Ternwmlar 

Wynkyn de Worde ; and the $uAtit wariters: The existMioe of a )>res8 iil- 

coraplains, tha^ he < was obliged to> on^t dueedimany persons^ to tuvn authors, 

his whole thied part, beeauee the printer who wereonly qualified to write in their 

had no Hebrew types. ' Some feiw H»- iiatnre tongue. 

brew and Arabic charaotfrs, however, ^^This Note isrefS»red tB-iiDp» 41<^ 

are introduced $ but extvetndy rude, and is placed at the end of this Section 

and evidently cut m wood. Th^ are on account of its length»*^£Bi!r.] 

the first oC tfao sort used in England. f [The reprintof iSb- OotoC^ber, and ita 

This learned; oriemtalist was instrument dose analogy widi the Kxnantic legeada 

tal in preserving, at the dissolution of of Robert of Cicyle, and Robert the 



^NGIilSn POETRY. 4Sl 

the Lajfes ofBrytajfne : and in aaotl^r place he caUst his stoij 
thejlrst Laye ofBritanye. MSS. Reo. 17 B. xliiL Chancei^s 

Frankelein's Tale was also a Bretagne Lcn/y Urr. p. 107* 
In die Prologue he says, 

The olde gerUill Bretons in their dayea 
Of divers aventoures madin their LayeSy 
Rymeyed first in their owne Breton tonge, 

Whiche layis with ther instruments thei songe. 

Devil, have already been noticed, (supra, nothing. Guth-her, which a strong gutt 

p.. 22 ) Though professing to l^ a lag^ Hural accentiialion xoiiid render Ooi^- 

of Brittany, it has no connexion with ther, is a ge|:>iiine Saxon appeHative ; 

tiiose early Armorican fictions, which but by the same proceiK the French Gau- 

centse^ in the achi^ejnents of Arthur tier (Gowter^) would assume a form 

and hb knights; ^iM the aeclaration nearly sinular. The old Platt-deutsch. 

IMS probably resorted to, firomthepc^iu- romanee of Zenoy n^iich has. been con« 

larity attached to the xiame« WheUier jectp«d to.be ft kindred story, is a fiftr 

it be of genuine English growth, as sug- more pleasing fiction ; and tfiough af« 

g««ted b^ its cecent editor, ia a qooBtioo fording die same admixtore of romantic 

not so easily decided. The allegation and legendary lore, is free from that djsi 

in tl)e text can go for Httle imaided by gusting degradation of the hero, which 

evidence of a more conclusive nature ; mavka Sir Gowt)ier for tlu; oK^nlng q£ 

or, if receli^ed at all, can only be inter- the monastery. The child, whose ma- 

piefced in the same literal sense as the licious and insatiate appetite produces^ 

assertions of Marie de France— dliat such so much mischief, is not die son of Sataiy^ 

fictions were derived from Brittany. The but the <<fowle fende*^ himself, who 

meitiim of <' Gotlake,*' the name of a assumes the foiin and place of theii^uit 

wdl-known Saxon saint, and the agno- Zeno ; and the following passage of thc( 

men under which Sir Gowther found German romance is the only one in strict 

his way into the calendar, might ftkvour parallel with Sir Gowther*s narratiYe : 

die supposition of an EnglSh orlgm. Do lach de bose Satanas 

But the legend of die r«d St. Gudilac Unde wenede, also eyn kint dot. 

u stiU preserved bodi in Saxon and p^ entwakede de vruwe gut, 

X«taa, and \m not Jhe shi^tejt mm, unde wolde dem kinde spyse geven : 

widi die story detojfid m die h^. m Do behelt se kume dat leven. 

same motii^whiiai would prprnpt die He soch so sere ut oren brdsten, 

assumption of» a. well-kiiowii source of -q^^ n„^a ^ ig^^ motte. 

popular fiction, would not ol^ to the ^ wunnen mennich vrone wif. 

#dopti»n ofan ^njjhsb. name, when 15J. Se al verloren orto Uf, 

commended by wwlar advantages It y^ ^^ ^u ungehuren. 
is true the very-premises aiebefe Aatui** 

tous; but had die ewAor. been: an En, Which may be dius dme into En- 

glijOmiaw, or bad the poem Iweo eiwjtw gnsh. 

posed ia£nghmd» we mi^tred9Qnabl3^ That efii Satanas then kogh, 

expect thataomedifeetior latent allnsioa And whuwd as a.child mote do^ 

would stiU bedisOQTem^^eithertodua IDen awdteddHit lady good, 

oounlry geiienilly, or to Croyland the Anddieugbtiogivethechild some food; 

rcputedvceneef SauitGu$hl«:*smiracle8. But at her. breast he soke so sore; 

As it is, a total silence is observed on Thatshe had nigh her life fbrbre. 

eidkersulject; and die principal agenta They hned many a goodly wife; 

afeaUforeigner»;--^eIXikeofOi(a!7ch, But dirough. that fiend they hist their 

the Empmnr of Almfly% the Sowdan life. Enn.] 
U Perce, &c. The name itself qpeaks 



483 THE HISTORY OF 

Here He translates frbm Marie, although this story is not in her 
mannscript, viz. foL 18 U 

' Li auntien Brefun curteis. 

But in his Dreme, he seems to have copied her J^ay of Elidus, 
[See Diss. L] To the British Lais I would also refer La Lai 
Du Corn, which begins, 

De un aventure ci avint 

A la court del bon rei Artus. 

MSS. DiGB. 86. Bibl. Bodl. membraD. 4to. It probably ex- 
isted before the year 1300. The story, which much resembles 
the old French metrical romance, called Le Court Mantel, 
is slightly touched inMoRTE Arthur, iu S3. A magical hori^ 
richly garnished, the work of a fairy, is brought by a beautifid 
boy riding on a fleet courser, to a sumptuous feast held at Car- 
leon by king Arthur, in order to try the fidelity of the knights 
and ladies, who are in number sixty thousand. Those who 
are false, in drinking from this horn, spill their wine. The only 
successful knight, or he who accomplishes the adventure, is 
Garaduc or Cradok. I will here give the descriptipn of the 
horn. 

Un dauncel*, 

Mout avenaunt et bel, 

* More properly written daumte{, or question was written by Richard I. ; and 
danzel. As in the old French ronumce follows Nostradamus, who attributes it 
of Gabin, to the Emperor Frederic Barbaiossa. 

•v* i« j^^^j ««« "R..— «* »^»«*. It Wy however, a well known fact, that 

J!.t la aanxel que Hues ot noms. ^l* %:« is • i.« jm 

^ this Emperor was so firm m hispredilee- 

And in other places. So our king Ri- tion for his native tonffue, that though 

chard the First, in a fragment of one of acquainted with sevend European lan- 

his Frovencial sonnets, guages, he constantly refused to con- 

Elou<fon«/d«Thu8cana. Twse with the «mba«.do™^rffflre^ 

States who were ignorant of German^ 
" For Boy» Tuscany is the country. " In exc^ through the medium of an inter- 
Spanish, LoDonxdL See Andr. Bosch, preter. Hiis, coupled with the genend 
Dels TUoUdehovwrdeCcttiudan^. L. iii. inaccuracy of No6tradamus*s hKtorical 
c. S. § 16. In some of these instances, notices, inight justify a doubt as to the 
the word is restrained to the sense of correctness of the statement. It wouJdr 
Squire, It is from the Latin domickllus. however, be p^ectly in character if 
IVoissart calls Richard the Second, when spoken of the Emperor Frederic 11.,* 
prince of Wales, «Le jeune Damoisel whowashimselfaMinnesing^or Tnni- 
Richart.!* torn. i. c. S25. badour, and a patron of Troubadours.-^ 
[Mr. Ritson denies that the sonnet in Edit.] .. ^ 



ENGLISH POETRY. ^33 

Seur iin cheval corant, 
En palleis vint eraunt: 
En sa main tont im cor 
A quatre bendel de or, 
Ci com etoit diveure . 
Entaillez de ad trifure', 
Peres ici ont assises, 
Qu en le or furent mises, 
Berreles et sardoines, 
Et riches calcedoines ; 
II fu fast de oUifaunt, 
Ounques ne ni si gramit, 
Ne si fort, ne si bel, 
Desus ont un anel, 
Neele de ad argent, 
Eschelettes il ont cent 
' Perfectees de or fin, 

En le tens Constantin, 
Les fist une Fee, 
Qu preuz ert, et senee, 
E le com destina 
Si cum vous oiTes ja : 
Qu sour le corn ferroit 
Un petit de soun doit, 
Ses eschelettes cent 
Sounent tant doucement, 

1 Or rsL^ertrifore. Undoubtedly from ibid. p. 309. et seq. It is sometimes 

the Latin^ifn^mm, a rich ornamented written TaxFORiA. As, << Fannus cujns 

edge or border. The Latin often occurs campus purpureus, cum xiv listb in Ion* 

under Dugdale*s Inyektort of saint gitudineacfiiMMfumTBiFORLSContextis.'* 

Pattl*s» in Sie MoirAsricON, viz. '< Mor- ibid. p. 336. col. 2. Trifube, in the tex^ 

sus [a buckle] W. de Ely argenteus, may be literally interpreted jewel-workm 

cresta gus argentea, cum tbxforio ex- As in Chron. S. Dion. tom. iii. Collect, 

terius aureo et lapilHs insitis/* &c. tom. Histor. Franc, p. 183. ** II estoient de 

iii. EccL. Cath. p. 309. Trifobiatus fin or esmere et -aourne de tres riches 

repeatedly occurs in the same page, as pierres precieuses d* vere [ceuvre] tbi- 

tfaus. <<Morsus Petri de Blois tbifori- fhoibe.'* Which Aimon calls, <<gemr 

▲Tus de auro."«i>»<< Medio circulo [of a misque omaXA Opere inclusoriof'* that is, 

buckle! anrato, TBiFORiATo, inserto gros- vwrk consisting rfjeioels set in. DeGxsv. 

sis lapidibus," &c— "Cummultis lapi- Frakc. Lib. ii. cap. ix. p. 44^ G. edit, 

dibus et perlis inati^ in limbi% et qua- Paris. 1603. fol. 
draturis tripho&atus aureis," &c. &c 

VOL. II. 2 F 



434 TilE HISTORY Ot 

Qu harpe ne vide 
Ne deduit de pueelk, 
Ne Sereigne du mer 
Nest tele desccmter. 

These lines may be tliua interpreted* " A bc^, very graceful 
and beautiful, mounted on a swift horse^ came into the palace 
of king Arthur. He bore in his hand a born, bi^ving four band- 
ages of gold ; it was made of ivory, en^pved with trifoire : 
many pretious stones wer^ set in the gold* b^yls, sardonyces, 
and rich chalcedonies : it was of dephant [ivory] : nothing was 
ever so grand, so stronff, or so beautiful : at bottom was a ring 
[or rim] wrought of sifver; where ^ere hangkig an hundred 
little bells, framed of fine goldj in the days of Constantine, by 
a Fairy, brave and wise, for the purpose which ye have just 
heard me relate. If any .one gently struck the horn with his 
finger,'* the hundred bells sounded so sweetly, that neither harp 
nor viol, nor the sports of a virgi% nor the syrens of the sea, 
could ever give such music." The author of this Lai is one 
Robert Bikez, as appears by th^ last Hues ; in which the horn 
is said still to be seen at Cirencester.. From this tale came 
Ariosto's Enchanted Cup^ Oia. FuBjojs. xHi» 92. And Fon- 
taine's La Coupe Ench^nteis. From the Court Mantel, 
a fiction of the same tendencyj wd whicU waaepmmon among, 
the Welsh bards, Spenser borrowed the wond^srfid virtues and 
. effects of his FlorimeLi's Qirdi-e, iv. S., 3» Both stories are 
connected in an antient Ballad published by Percy. voL.iii. p.l. 
In tjie Blghy ipauuscr^t, which contain La Zm du Corn^ 
BX% vumy othff^ curious, chansons, romantic, allegorical, ^d 
Jfii^Bn^y^ botfx m old French aad eld Bnglkk. I will 1m*€ 
exhibit the r^birics, or tiries^ of the siost repo^kable places, 
mad of such as secpi most likely to thvow Kght eo the SHb}ect$ 
or alluslops of otir antient English poetry. Zi^ Mom^mm Peru 
Aujffbur [Alfonse] comeni il aprist et ckt^tstia son Jits bdement. 
[Se^ Jfojes^ to Cantbrb, T. p. 328. vd. iv.} De un dtmi ami: 
•^De tm hon ami enter. — De nn sage boninie ei de i Jiit.. — JDe 
un gopil et de un mul. — De un roi et de e^cfercr.-— l>i? un koftme 



BD6I.IfrU YOETRT. U§ 

ei de une serpente et de vng&piL'^Deum rdet deun versi^our^ 
— 2>e ii dercs escolierg^ — De unprodome et de $a maXefemme^^^^ 
Hel engin dejemme del nelons^^^Del espee autre engin defemme^ 
-^^De tm roy et de unfableoyT^^^De une veiUe et de une li$ette* ^ 
*— Dtf lagile de la per e dpin»*^De tm prodfemme bene eqintiie^ 
EPr. ** Un Espagnol ceo "vy counter^"]-— JD^H meimtreii^^ [i e* 
Min3trels.>*-J% un roy et de Platoun**^T>e un xAlHn de llou 
^.dewt gopiL^^De un rcyfci large. — He maimound mat es^er* 
•*— 2)^ Socrates et de rot Alisatmdre^^^De rot Alisaundre et del 
phUasophe.-'^De un philowfel et del alme.^^Ci commence le r(H 
tnaunx de Enfer, Le Scunge Baufde Hodengede la toiddenfer, 
[Ad calc* ^* Rauf de Hodeng, satmz mensoiinge^*-^-Qu cesi ro- 
maiinz fist de sun songe."' See Verdier, Bibl. Fb. iL %9^. 
V. S94. Paris, 1773.]— Zte«n vaUet qui soutint dames et dam* 
maisales^r^De Bomme et de Oerusalem, — La lais du ccm.'^Le 
Jabel del geUms.'^^Ci comence la bertcumee.'^La vie de un vaiUet 
amerous,^-^De \mjiles . . . [Pr. "Un rois estoit de graunt 
pouer.**] — Ham Jheu Crist herewed^ kelle, iic [See vid* iL Sect. 
xxviL] — Le xv singnes [signes] de domesday, [Pr. ^ Piftcene 
tokn^i ich tellen may*'' Compare toL ii. p. BlJy^Ci com^nc^ 
la vie seint Eustace ci ont nom Placidas* 

[Pr. " Alle^t loveS godes lore 

Okie and yai^ lasse a&d more^^ 

See MS. Vernon, fol. 170. ut supr.] — Ledizde seint Bernard^ 
[Pr. ^^ blessinge of bevene kingc'T — Vdi sont ci ante nos 
Juerount. [In English.] — Chaungqn de no$tre dame. [Pr. "St<»id 
wel moder ounder rode.*'] — Here beginnetk the sauoe of seint 
Bedepreest. [Pr. "Holigost "Si raistee.] — Coment le saurUer 
notre daniefu primes cuntrone. [Pr. " Luedi swete and milde."] 
— Les . . . peines de enfen. [Pr. " Oiez Seynours une demande."] 
— Le regret de Maximian. [Pr. " HerkeneS to mi ron." MSS. 
Harl. 2253. f. 82. See vol. i. p. 35.] — Ci comence le cuntent 
par entre le mavis et la russinole. [Pr. " Somer is cumen wiS 
love to tonne." See voL i. p. 31.] — Of the fox and of the wolf 
[Pr. " A vox go^ out of ^ wode go."] — Hending the hende. 

2 F 2 



496 THEHISTOBY OF 

[MSS. Habl. 2253. 89,foL l^H.y^Les pr(rverbes dd vilairu'^ 
Les mh'ocles de seint HicnohAS.-'-^Ragemon le ban. — Chanctm 
dd secle^ [In EnglUh.] — Ci commence le fable et la courtise de 
dame siri • • • [Pn <^ As I com bi an waie."]-— Z^ noms de un^ 
leure Engleis. [i. e. The names of the Hare in English.] — Ci 
cmence la vie nostre dame.—Ci camence le dochirwl de ensetgne- 
mens de 0nieisie. — Ci comence les Aves noustre dame. — De ii 
chevalers torts he plendercnt aroune. —